Thousands of Iowa Kids To Get Nearly $300 Each In Food Benefits
After Zach Johnson announced he is shifting the mission of his foundation during the Coronavirus pandemic to feed Iowa kids, a new stimulus program for them is announced as well.
A federal grant program has been set up to divvy out $63 million from the United States Department of Agriculture to about 225,000 school kids in Iowa. Round that out and it's approximately $279 per child as a substitute for missing out on school lunches after schools were closed due to the pandemic. This is in addition to the food available from meal pick-up sites at schools around Cedar Rapids and other cities.
The Iowa Department of Human Services will administer what they call the "Pandemic EBT Program". If the EBT part sounds familiar, it's because the program allows states to use SNAP benefits to distribute the money dedicated to the pandemic food program for kids who have lost access to school meals due to the pandemic.
Iowa hasn't started the program yet, but only because they are coordinating with the Department of Education to ensure proper data is collected to get the benefits to all students.
If a family already uses SNAP benefits, an additional $279 will be deposited into the account. For others, they will get a special pre-loaded debit card to be dedicated to food use. Those already on SNAP will be entrusted to earmark the money for food, but families not receiving SNAP benefits will get a debit card in the K-12 student's name to avoid misuse on things like alcohol, restaurant food, pet food, vitamins or other items.
The DHS website says the program should be ready to launch and send payments out starting in late June.