Survey Shows 1in 4 Iowans Face Hunger; Advocates Say People Want to See Change

A new study is raising awareness about the growing number of people facing hunger in Iowa.
But advocates told Siouxland News Reporter Beairshelle Edme that the same study shows Iowans are trying to face the problem head on.
Recent statistics show that on any given night 1 in 4 Iowans could come home to an empty plate and be filled with hunger.

"It's the most basic thing in the world that people have enough to eat and when you read the statistics and over 400,000 Iowans are at risk for hunger that's just an incredible number and 1 in 5 is a child," said Food Bank of Siouxland Executive Director Linda Scheid. That's why more than a dozen advocates met Friday to discuss how Iowa can change those numbers.
The joint study by AARP Iowa and the Iowa Food Bank Association also shows that a majority of Iowans are aware of hunger in their own neighborhoods. "They said it takes everybody to collaborate and cooperate. So they expect the public sector, the private sector, the governmental sector, the non-profit sector, all to be working together to address these food insecurity issues," said Kent Sovern, director of Iowa's AARP division. AARP has been one agency leading this type of mission.
They've teamed up with NASCAR for the "Drive to End Hunger" campaign that not only provides meals, but also awareness.
Sovern says Iowans who are 50 and over often suffer from hunger silently. "Unless we address that, it leads to other issues of isolation, chronic health problems become worsened if people don't have access to quality food and that and then there's the whole social capital, social network that food provides," he said. With this new information, activists hope Siouxland will support more proactive steps to ending hunger in our own backyard.
And the Food Bank of Siouxland knows it's there's need in the community.
Despite more people becoming food insecure, the organization has still been able to meet the need.
It's estimated that this year the pantry will distribute about 2.5 million pounds of food across Siouxland.
If you have a story you want to tell or an incident you think needs to be investigated, our reporter Beairshelle Edmé wants to hear about OR