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KIMT NEWS 3 – Wayne Johns has been working at the Winnebago Food Bank for more than 18 years.
And he says not a day goes by where he isn’t reminded of how important food banks are.
“In the month of April we saw 185 families and we’re relatively small county compared to Cerro Gordo County,” said Johns.
Johns says they’ve been really lucky when it comes to donations.
“We’ve been so blessed from the farmers, from the Hanson Foundation, churches, we really have been blessed,” said Johns.
And now that Governor Branstad says he is re- considering the idea of sending state tax dollars to the Food Bank of Iowa, Johns is even more appreciative.
“It would be wonderful to have those funds available to the Food Bank of Iowa who would then in turn be broken down and distributed to various food banks,” said Johns.
Last year the state tax dollars weren’t granted to the food bank because Governor Branstad said they should still be relying on private funds but according to the Winnebago Food Bank that’s not always reliable.
Drew Norton from United Way of North Central Iowa couldn’t agree more.
“Private donations are important but when other funding is cut and the Governor is able to support this program that will give a million dollars to support our 99 counties across, it’s a great way to help conquer that food insecurity,” said Norton.
She says with the agency’s Backpack Buddies Program they know all to well how much those in Iowa need these extra nutritional items.
“We’ve seen from the fall when we started we’ve given out over 11,000 sacks of food so we know that then are hungry kids and hungry parents, and hungry families,” said Norton.
And Johns hopes the governor will see it as well.
“It’d be a blessing and again we’re talking about receiving it indirectly from the Food Bank of Iowa were blessed to have so many resources available through the Food Bank of Iowa,” said Johns.
The bill includes a $1 million appropriation, and that would have to be matched privately from food banks to get the full amount.