Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds this morning defended Governor Branstad’s veto of a bill that would have provided $500,000 for the state’s food banks.
Reynolds met with reporters today to outline details of a large annual food drive for the Food Bank of Iowa.
She said private donations are the best way to support the Food Bank. “It really needs to be driven by the private sector. Sometimes when the government takes over and starts putting in place an appropriation, other people kind of step back and think the need is not there to continue to help and support the effort,” Reynolds said.
Food Bank of Iowa executive director Carey Miller joined Reynolds at today’s statehouse news conference. “Today, the need for emergency food assistance is greater than ever,” Miller said. “We have over 400,000 Iowans who are food insecure – meaning they lack the resources for enough food to live healthy and active lifestyles.”
Miller refused to criticize the governor’s decision. “I know there are difficult decisions that need to be made and I know the governor and lieutenant governor will continue to support our organization,” Miller said.
Governor Branstad did not attend the press conference. Reynolds said Branstad and his wife are celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary. Iowa is one of 12 states that does not provide funding to its food banks. Reynolds said legislators and the governor’s office can help by promoting private donations.
“I don’t know how many times I’ve been with Carey over the last year at different organizations to highlight what wonderful contributions corporations have given to the Food Bank of Iowa,” Reynolds said. “We’ll continue to do that, but it’ll be privately-led and publicly endorsed, as well as state employees doing everything they can to help make a difference.”
Reynolds noted that Branstad has supported the Food Bank’s mission for decades. “The governor, in 1983 I think it was, started the annual food drive for state employees and it’s still going strong today,” Reynolds said.
The governor’s office has partnered the Des Moines Symphony, the Food Bank of Iowa, Dahl’s Foods, ARAG Insurance Company, Bank of the West and the Des Moines Regional Transit Authority (DART) to support the “Yankee Doodle Drive Against Hunger” event.
Iowans are encouraged to donate nonperishable food items at Dahl’s stores or Bank of the West locations or at the annual Yankee Doodle Pops celebration, which will be held on the State Capitol grounds on July 3 at 8:30 p.m.