Letters to the Editor

Iowans need Congress to invest in SNAP

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused childhood hunger to soar to record-level highs, with 1 in 5 children in Iowa facing hunger this year. This is more than a health crisis — it’s an economic one too.

As a business owner, it’s devastating to see the impact on my industry — more than 1,000 restaurants in Iowa are now closed. As a chef, I’m committed to feeding my community, and that extends beyond the four walls of my restaurant. While I’d like to see Congress invest in helping my industry by passing the RESTAURANTS Act, our nation’s hunger crisis is a problem we can fix too.

If Congress temporarily increases SNAP food assistance benefits by 15 percent, those in need would receive an additional $25 each month. This benefit is a lifeline for anyone in our state facing extreme hardship right now — unemployment, rising food prices, eviction and hunger.

It’s critical that Congress gets to work on legislation that includes this SNAP increase. SNAP is one of the most effective ways to feed people and stimulate our economy.

Right now, Congress is failing hundreds of thousands of kids by delaying relief legislation and leaving nutrition assistance out of it. I urge Sens. Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst to work to boost SNAP now.

Kevin Scharpf

Dubuque

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