A new survey shows many low income Iowans fear they won’t have enough money to keep food on the table.Judy Solberg is the director of the Women, Infants and Children or “WIC” program that provides food supplements to low-income Iowans. She says a survey of those who participated in WIC last year showed 57-percent, an increase of 14-percent over the ’97 total, said they worried about running out of food each month. Solberg says it may not necessarily be due to an increase in food costs, other things like clothes and shoes may cost more. She says last year’s cold winter and big increase in heating costs also probably caused budget problems for many WIC participants. Solberg says increases in the cost of heating bills, clothes and other things could be eating into the food budgets of the poor. Solberg says this news comes as the number of WIC participants is at its highest level ever — 62-thousand, and climbing by 400 every month. WIC provides food packages each month worth about 35 dollars. Solberg says there’s no way to increase them.as the amount WIC can provide is set at the federal level, but she says state officials plan to hold some focus groups to try and see what can be done to improve the problem. Solberg says Iowans can help by donating to local food pantries.Solberg says the situation is not likely to improve due to the recent downturn in the Iowa economy.
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