Apr 1, 2021 - News
Food insecurity on the rise in Iowa
A person holds a packaged turkey in one hand.
Photo: Kena Betancur/AFP via Getty Images

About a third more Iowans faced food insecurity in 2020, largely a result of the pandemic, according to information released this week from the Iowa Department of Public Health.

Why it matters: The data indicates the problem now affects families of many economic levels.

By the numbers: There were 17 million more Americans experiencing food insecurity as a result of the pandemic, according to Feeding America estimates.

  • An estimated 405,100 Iowans struggled with hunger in 2020, up by 19% compared to the previous year, according estimates the group released this week.
  • About 147,000 kids are included in Iowa’s 2020 estimate.

Flashback: Iowa was making progress in its war against hunger prior to the pandemic.

What’s next: Existing strategies include increasing supplemental food programs at both state and local levels.

  • Polk County has also developed new software to help eliminate massive amounts of food waste.

This story first appeared in the Axios Des Moines newsletter, designed to help readers get smarter, faster on the most consequential news unfolding in their own backyard.

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