Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, met with leaders from various nutrition organizations, businesses and non-profits while hosting a roundtable on nutrition programs at Capital City Fruit in Norwalk yesterday. The roundtable discussion was held as part of Grassley’s annual 99 county meetings across Iowa.
“I appreciate and thank the Comito brothers at Capital City Fruit for hosting the roundtable yesterday so Iowa’s nutrition leaders could share insight on the nutritional needs of Iowans as Congress approaches another Farm Bill. It’s important to hear directly from leaders within an industry to learn more about the challenges they face, which is why I hold meetings in each of Iowa’s 99 counties every year. The staff and their volunteers were pivotal in making sure Iowans were fed during the pandemic. Their continued hard work and passion to create opportunities to feed people is unmatched. I will bring their input to our upcoming Farm Bill discussions,” Grassley said.
“Food Bank of Iowa takes a hands-on approach to ensuring the success of our 700 smaller frontline pantries and feeding sites. When I assumed the role of CEO, I decided to do ‘The Full Grassley’ and visit all 55 counties served by Food Bank of Iowa. Like Senator Grassley, I avoid having an agenda and strive to listen more than I talk. When I remarked to Senator Grassley the tour was challenging, his sage advice was, “Michelle, you don’t have to do it all at once. Spread it out and enjoy the people.” I thank Senator Grassley for his extraordinary leadership and the example he sets in hearing from Iowans across the state,” Michelle Book, president and CEO of Food Bank of Iowa, said.
Leaders from Capital City Fruit, Allen Lund Company, Des Moines Area Religious Council (DMARC), Food Bank of Iowa and Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart Church participated in the roundtable discussion. Topics brought up during the discussion were The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) funding, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) funding, food deserts in rural communities, monthly distributions of the Child Tax Credit and how bipartisanship is needed to pass the Farm Bill.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Grassley supported the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which increased funding to SNAP, TEFAP and other childhood nutrition programs. More recently, Grassley cosponsored the bipartisan Hunger-Free Summer for Kids Act which helps states provide access to meals during the summer months. As a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, Grassley will bring Iowa’s voice to upcoming Farm Bill discussions.
This is Grassley’s 42nd year of holding meetings in every one of Iowa’s 99 counties. Grassley has held at least one meeting in every county, every year since he was first elected to serve in the U.S. Senate. He takes questions on any subject. Iowans set the agenda.