Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds speaks to the press in Davenport, Iowa.
Credit:: Scott Olson / Getty

Iowa’s Republican-led government sparked outrage late last week by declining to participate in a federal program that would have provided low-income residents with $40 a month in additional food assistance during the coming summer.

Created by the U.S. Congress late last year, the Summer Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) for Children program aims to boost nutrition benefits for families with school-aged children who typically receive free or reduced-price meals during the school year. Starting in summer 2024, eligible families will receive a prepaid debit card with $40 per child for three months.

But in a press release issued Friday, the state’s health and human services department said it had notified the Biden administration that Iowa would be opting out of Summer EBT, claiming the program doesn’t sufficiently restrict the kinds of food that families can purchase.

Kim Reynolds, Iowa’s Republican governor, echoed that assertion in a statement focused more on childhood obesity than food insecurity, which Read the Full Article