Reynolds announces $5M investment to boost food bank capacity

Kim Reynolds Iowa Renewable Fuels Association
Gov. Kim Reynolds speaks at the Iowa Renewable Fuels Summit on Feb. 7, 2023. CREDIT JARED STRONG, IOWA CAPITAL DISPATCH.

Gov. Kim Reynolds and the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) have announced a $5 million investment in food banks and food pantry networks to help Iowans gain access to fresh, nutritious food.

The announcement comes after some food banks in the state have experienced record-high demands.

“Iowa is making long-term investments to reduce food insecurity in our communities – supporting food banks and their networks to better serve those in need. This one-time infrastructure investment will help improve capacity and distribution at Iowa’s food banks, and ensure more Iowans have access to the food they need,” said Ms. Reynolds in a news release.

The Iowa Food Insecurity Infrastructure Fund will help eligible nonprofits that have experienced economic hardship build, expand or remodel facilities to enable them to increase the amount of food, especially fresh food, distributed to food pantries throughout Iowa. 

Eligible nonprofits include food banks that are bulk food aggregators or distributors that replenish food pantries across Iowa, as well as nonprofit food pantry networks that serve as primary distribution points.  

IEDA began accepting applications on Thursday, June 1, and will continue to review applications as they arrive through July 1 or until funding runs out. Funded projects must be completed by June 30, 2026. For more information, visit the IEDA website. 

The investment comes after Ms. Reynolds signed Senate File 494, which placed a $15,000 limit on assets for Iowa households to remain eligible for benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), with some exclusions. The bill additionally requires eligible households to earn less than 160% of the federal poverty level to collect any SNAP benefits.