Iowa Republicans are pushing a bill that would discourage people who need the most help from applying for food assistance.
One part of the bill recommends narrowing SNAP food purchases to only those on the state’s approved WIC list, which is supplemental nutrition assistance for women, infants and children.
No white grains – People can only buy 100% whole wheat bread, brown rice and 100% whole wheat pasta.
No baked, refried or refried beans – people can buy black, red and pinto beans.
No fresh meats – People can only buy canned products like canned tuna or canned salmon.
No shredded, solid or crumbled cheese. No American cheese.
The proposed legislation also attacks the state’s Medicaid recipients.
The WIC list is for expectant and new mothers, infants and children. The list is designed to promote healthy eating. It should not be weaponized against the state’s low-income residents to discourage people who need the most help from applying for SNAP benefits.
The average SNAP benefit in Iowa is approximately $155/month, which is insufficient to provide a person with a healthy diet at current food prices in the nation. If state Republicans were interested in promoting healthy diets, they would increase their share of SNAP funding to make it easier for people to get healthy foods.
I am a strong advocate for healthy diets because they lead to better health outcomes, but what the Iowa Republicans are proposing has nothing to do with the health and wellness of vulnerable populations.
It’s about discouraging hungry people who can’t feed themselves for the month on the state’s current SNAP benefit from applying for assistance.
Jason is the managing editor. He is a member of the White House Press Pool and a Congressional Correspondent for PoliticoUSA. Jason holds a Masters in Political Science. Her graduate work focused on public policy with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association