From our friends at the Iowa Hunger Coalition:

The Iowa Hunger Coalition (IHC) is launching an online petition to urge Gov. Kim Reynolds to take steps to ensure Iowa participates in Summer EBT in 2025. IHC has set a goal of gathering 2,500 signatures by Friday, August 2. Iowans can sign the petition by visiting

“It’s past time for Gov. Reynolds to put national partisan politics aside and do what’s right for Iowa,” said Luke Elzinga, IHC board chair and policy and advocacy manager at the DMARC Food Pantry Network. “We are calling on all Iowans to take action and hold our state government accountable. Nobody should be willing to accept another summer where hundreds of thousands of low-income kids in our state miss out on Summer EBT.”

Summer EBT, also known as SUN Bucks, is the first new federal childhood nutrition program in two decades, and was created by a bipartisan act of Congress in December 2022. Iowa notably

declined to participate in Summer EBT  in 2023, a decision strongly opposed by the Iowa Hunger Coalition. Iowa is one of 13 states that chose not to participate in Summer EBT in 2023. The program would provide $120 in nutrition benefits during the summer to 245,000 children in Iowa who qualify for free and reduced price school meals. Summer EBT is  evidence-based policy, and has been shown to reduce childhood food insecurity while increasing consumption of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and dairy. 

“With household budgets stretched thin, families are facing incredibly difficult decisions to put food on the table this summer,” said Sheila Hansen, IHC board member and senior policy advocate and government relations manager at Common Good Iowa. “Meanwhile, the state of Iowa is sitting on a two-billion dollar surplus. Summer EBT is an incredibly effective use of state funds that would make a profound impact in the daily lives of hundreds of thousands of Iowans.”

Food banks, food pantries, and other anti-hunger organizations across the state of Iowa continue to face record-breaking numbers of people turning to them for assistance. Advocates trace the beginning of this trend back to April 2022, when Emergency Allotments for SNAP ended, drastically reducing benefit amounts for Iowans enrolled in the program.

“On top of the sustained increases we’d already been seeing at food banks and pantries over the past two years, this summer has been absolutely relentless, no matter where you are in the state,” said Nicole McAlexander, executive director of Southeast Linn Community Center and vice chair of IHC’s board. “Similar to individuals, organizations are facing difficult financial decisions, and staff and volunteers are being pushed to the limit to make sure the need is met.”

The Iowa Hunger Coalition is also coordinating an organizational sign-on letter, and is separately urging nonprofit organizations, faith communities, businesses, clubs, and other civic groups to contact the Governor’s office, Iowa Department of Health and Human Services, and Iowa Department of Education in support of Summer EBT.