Survey results released at the Iowa Hunger Summit in Des Moines, Iowa this week show a majority of Iowans donate food or money to organizations that help people in need.
Betsy Danforth-Richey of Iowa Food Access and Health said she sees an untapped opportunity for donating fresh food from gardens, “Because that’s the type of food that food pantries don’t have access to a lot and we’re trying to encourage people to eat a lot of fruits and vegetables but we’re not following up with the access piece.” Sixteen-percent of survey respondents said they had donated food from their own garden to a local pantry, but Danforth-Richey noted 40-percent said they would, if asked.
The State Director of the Iowa Food Bank Association says one in 8 Iowans faces the risk of hunger each day, a figure that more than half of those surveyed found surprising,“It verifies our idea that not everybody understands the issue of hunger. Hunger is an easy issue to rally around. People want to help if they just know how to help and who to help.” Cory Berkenes says nearly 13-percent of Iowa households are labeled as “food insecure,” meaning they routinely lack access to food.
Nearly 60-percent of survey respondents say the state should maintain SNAP/food stamp benefits. Berkenes said the program is helping families and shouldn’t be targeted for more federal cuts because it’s a moral right, but, “it shouldn’t be a political issue.”
The telephone survey of 800 Iowans was conducted for the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) in September by Precision Opinion.
~Thanks to Radio Iowa~