Opinion: Iowa to face extended food shortages

Toni Koraza

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Despite the agricultural resources, some 370,000 Iowans face the problem of food insecurity. And soon, many more could face food price changes and shortages in the Hawkeye State.

People from all walks of life face have to deal with the new economic circumstances of post-COVID America. Supply chains have been disrupted on a new yet unseen level. It's not just technology and consumer goods shipment from China that's getting harder to find in your local shops. Fresh produce, processed and canned foods are also barely finding their way to your local supermarket shelves. And all this will face major hurdles in the upcoming months.

Iowa has land with expansive farms, yet food security is a pervasive problem that could get worse soon.

Iowa's food-supply problems

In Central Iowa alone, 20 percent of the population faces chronic food insecurity. In addition, every county in the state has people facing hunger, a phenomenon known as food deserts. These food deserts mean areas with huge expanses where people can find no grocery stores or markets.

COVID-19 further exacerbated the problem of food insecurity. Iowans are facing an even more significant challenge with job loss and the end of expanded SNAP benefits. A daunting task, even with the large numbers of nonprofits focused on feeding the people of Iowa.

The impact of rising food prices

We all understand that the inflation that has followed the COVID-19 pandemic and the global food instabilities recently is more significant than anyone predicted. Food costs have risen over 10% in the last twelve months alone.

For Iowans, the rising costs, in addition to the food deserts that permeate the state's landscape, hunger will not o away unless something is done. Luckily the state legislature is implementing new plans to help.

Hopefully, the answer is just around the corner for Iowa, one of the most food-insecure states. But, if the food shortages increase, the people of Iowa will end up hungry in the middle of a sea of food.

Are you worried about the rising food prices and shortages?

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