In Marshalltown, Iowa — Iowa’s food banks are experiencing a rise in the number of people seeking assistance.
Derice Aragon, a caseworker at the Salvation Army in Marshalltown, stated, “I set up our pantry so they can make a couple meals.”
Sal’s Cupboard, as the pantry is referred to, is part of her job description. It’s been difficult to do that lately, though.
This meant that we were unable to meet the growing demand from the crowds, as Aragon explained: “We kept handing out more food.” As a result, “We used up all of our beef.”
In February, the Salvation Army served 33 percent more people than normal at the food pantry. Inflation, according to Aragon, is a contributing factor.
This means that people must choose between eating and paying their bills, she said.
All Iowans are affected by the problem.
Michelle Book, president and CEO of the Food Bank of Iowa, stated that “one in every ten Iowans is food insecure”. It’s safe to say that the Food Bank of Iowa is concerned.
There are additional reasons, says Book, that might cause demand to rise even higher.
As of the first of April, SNAP benefits would be reduced, she said.
According to the Iowa Department of Human Services, household benefits under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program will decrease by $95 to $230.
However, Book has some positive news to report.
It’s important to note that the Food Bank of Iowa has a large supply of food on hand. She said, “We have a lot of meat, eggs, and cheese, as well as canned protein.”
Aragon is likewise putting out a strategy for the future. In comparison to previous orders, the Salvation Army in Marshalltown has received a 50% increase in food.
No one is turned away from the food pantry because, as Aragon explained, “that’s what it’s there for.” “All we can do is prepare ahead to make sure we have enough to meet demand.