Iowa Families to Receive Summer Nutrition Assistance Benefits

It is $120 per child in the free or reduced lunch program.

Egg and cheese croissant sandwiches are made in August 2021 in the kitchen at Truman Elementary School in Cedar Rapids. (The Gazette)

Thousands of Iowa families will receive $120 in food assistance to cover the remaining summer months under the federal Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer program.

The Iowa Department of Health and Human Services announced Tuesday that he had been approved for federal benefits. The payments will go to Iowa children who were eligible for free and reduced-price school lunch in May, about 240,000 children.

The money, $120 per child, will be sent to families in the form of P-EBT cards through the mail by Oct. 4, the department said. They can be used on grocery items like dairy, meat, pasta, bread, fresh, frozen or canned fruits and vegetables, and more, the department said.

The state initially considered transferring the federal money, citing a heavy administrative burden, but reversed course after dozens of anti-hunger organizations and advocates urged state officials to accept the funds.

“Access to consistent, nutritious food not only ensures that a child’s basic needs are met, but these benefits are an investment in their health and future success, which are key focus areas for HHS” , HHS Director Kelly Garcia said in a statement. “These additional funds will help thousands of Iowa families put nutritious foods on their tables.”

Iowa Democratic Sen. Sarah Trone Garriott of West Des Moines, who signed a letter to Gov. Kim Reynolds urging her to accept the food aid, said Tuesday the money would help fight the food insecurity in Iowa.

“I am happy and relieved to see our state continue to feed Iowa’s hungry children,” Trone Garriott said in an emailed statement. “It’s the right thing to do: these cards will go a long way to meeting the need.”

Kim Reynolds joins letter asking for details on migrants’ whereabouts

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds joined two dozen other Republican governors in a letter urging President Joe Biden to provide more information on relocating illegal migrants and asylum seekers.

The letter, signed by every Republican governor except Phil Scott of Vermont, says “every state is now a border state” and blames Biden’s border policies for the recent increase in illegal border crossings. southern border and drug trafficking to the United States.

“States are on the front lines, working around the clock to respond to the effects of this crisis: shelters are full, pantries empty, law enforcement under strain, and aid workers exhausted,” the letter said .

The governors asked the Biden administration to provide “honest, accurate, and detailed information on where migrants admitted at the southern border are being relocated to the United States” and data on asylum application deadlines and the number of qualifications, as well as successful expulsions.

After repealing the pandemic-era rule that allowed border officials to quickly turn away migrants, President Joe Biden’s administration in May adopted a policy aimed at stemming the flow of asylum seekers into the United States by pushing back migrants who had not previously sought protection in another country. seek asylum in the United States

Some migrants who enter the United States to seek asylum are allowed to remain in the country while they pursue their asylum claim, either because they entered through a legal port of entry or because they receive an exception under the new policy.

Border apprehensions declined sharply in June after the new policy took effect, but increased again in July, according to federal data.

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