Governor Kim Reynolds today said the state’s network of food banks and food pantries saw demand skyrocket last month as COVID-19 related closures and job losses began to mount.
“In March alone, Iowa food pantries helped 65% more Iowans with applications for food assistance than this time last year,” Reynolds said late this morning.
The governor has appointed a “Feeding Iowans Task Force” to find ways to address disruptions in the traditional supply chain for food banks.
“With restaurants open for carry out and delivery, food donations are down and less food is being rescued from grocery stores to stock food pantries,” Reynolds said.
The governor is encouraging young, healthy Iowans to volunteer at food pantries. She indicated about 40 percent of the unpaid staff who sort food and package meals at food banks are older Iowans who need to stay home at this time.
Reynolds said Lieutenant Governor Adam Gregg will lead the new task force she’s appointed to address the growing demand for food assistance.