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Iowa HHS Announces Addressing Nutrition and Food Insecurity

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The Iowa Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced two initiatives focused on addressing healthy habits, nutrition, and food insecurity in Iowa families. “While these programs have different goals and actions, enabling Iowa families and communities to live healthier lives is deeply embedded in HHS’s mission. Food Prices in Iowa. Food insecurity, exacerbated by rising obesity rates and rising obesity rates, is driving the need for HHS to turn its attention to nutrition and health education.Through these programs, we are providing 20 counties of Iowa with We deliver a focused and measurable program,” said Kelly Garcia, director of HHS.

Iowa Suspends Hunger Pilot Program

Iowa Stops Hunger is a statewide initiative formed by the Business Publications Corporation (BPC) in 2020 to raise awareness and inspire action to combat food insecurity in Iowa. With the help of Presenting Sponsor Hy-Vee and Supporting Sponsor Mom’s Meals, Iowa Stops Hunger explores hunger in Iowa and creates ongoing media content and events to discuss food insecurity in Iowa and showcased the actions companies took, connecting companies with their participants. Not-for-profit communities statewide.

The dialogue that took place in 2020-21 raised interest for further action. A small group led by Hy-Vee, Mom’s Meals and HHS joined forces in a public-private coalition to reduce food insecurity in Iowa through targeted programs facilitated by BPC. The Iowa Stops Hunger Coalition launches a pilot program for women aged 21 to her 44. These women may be food insecure but ineligible for SNAP, WIC, free and reduced diet programs. Many of these women work in low-paying jobs or are young mothers who have left the workplace, making this project particularly relevant to employers in Iowa.

The pilot project timeline is being finalized by a public-private coalition. Managed Care Medicaid providers Amerigroup Iowa, Iowa Total Care, and Molina Healthcare provide outreach and service coordination with community-based nutrition partners, including food banks in the Iowa area. Hy-Vee and Mom’s Meals provide conditioning, diet and nutrition education and support. BPC helps facilitate the Coalition and support communications. Iowa Medicaid will manage the pilot.

The program includes short-term food insecurity stabilization and resources, and long-term food and nutrition access and education. The pilot will focus on a woman from her 21 to her 44 in her eight counties in Iowa who has indicated that they are experiencing food insecurity.

Counties are:

  • Clinton County
  • Polk County
  • blackhawk county
  • Pottawattamy County
  • Des Moines County
  • Woodbury County
  • Rin
  • Jones

Participating counties were identified by HHS through an analysis of screenings that showed higher than average rates of food insecurity among residents. Selected counties represent a cross-section of rural and urban populations across the state. An estimated 23,000 people have been identified as part of the pilot. Targeting mothers with children specifically helps them deal with the systemic challenges that families often face.

5-2-1-0 Healthy choices matter!

HHS also announced $265,000 in grants to 15 Iowa counties through the 5-2-1-0 Healthy Choices Count! — Encouraging Iowa children to develop healthy habits An evidence-based prevention framework for early care and education programs, K-12 schools, out-of-school programs, and health care practices to

Since 2017, the program has used five servings of veggies, two hours of fun screen time, one hour of physical activity, and sugar-free beverages as guides to help communities find ways to eat healthy foods and increase physical activity. I encourage you to do so. Past projects around Iowa include StoryWalk® installed at a local park in Scranton, expansion of recreational services (snowshoes and disc golf sets) available for rent in Sgt. Bluff for community members, and his ADA compliance around Winterset. installation of water stations. See here for previously funded projects.

The following grants have been awarded to Iowa communities in 2023.

First Year $30,000 Award

  • Davenport, Scott County
  • Olin/Anamosa, Jones County
  • Perry, Dallas County
  • Woodbury County Sioux City
  • Tama-gun Tama/Toledo

2nd Year $15,000 Prize

  • Apanous County Centerville
  • Kiocook, Lee County
  • Leon, Decatur County
  • Oskaloosa, Mahaska County
  • Alamakee County Postville

3rd Year $8,000 Prize

  • Ottumwa, Wapelo County
  • scranton, green county
  • Woodbury County, Sergeant Bluff
  • Clay County Spencer
  • Winterset, Madison County

For more information on how the community uses the funds, please visit

Iowa Stops Hunger Media Contact: Suzanna DeBaca: