Get Help Buying Healthy Foods

August 29, 2022 | Jody Gatewood

washing spinach at the sink

For many of us, money is tight right now. The cost of groceries and gas are extremely high and additional SNAP benefits provided during the pandemic have ended in many states.

Nutrition does have not have to suffer when it’s hard to make ends meet. There is help! You may qualify for one or more of these programs that makes it easier to buy healthy foods:

  • SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) provides extra money for groceries to help buy food while money is tight.
    • In Iowa, click here to learn if you are eligible.
    • Outside of Iowa, click here to find your state to see if you are eligible.
  • Women, Infants and Children (WIC) provides breastfeeding support, nutrition education and money for healthy food for pregnant and breastfeeding mothers and children ages 0-5.
    • In Iowa, learn how to apply here.
    • Outside of Iowa, find a location near you here.
  • School meals at free or reduced prices are available to children ages 18 and under. Call or visit your child’s school to see if you’re eligible and to apply.
  • Food pantries and distributions provide free food to community members who are experiencing hunger. Food banks are big warehouses that provide food to local organizations called food pantries.
    • In Iowa, call 211 to find your nearest food pantry.
    • Outside of Iowa, find your nearest food bank here and then call your food bank or search your zip code to find local pantries.
  • Congregate Meals are available for adults ages 60 and older. Services are resuming on site as congregate meals or home-delivered meals may be available for individuals who are homebound.
    • In Iowa, find meals in your county here or call 211.
    • Outside of Iowa, find nearby meal providers here.
  • Double Up Food Bucks gives you $1 in Double Up Food Bucks for every $1 you spend on any fresh fruits and vegetables with your SNAP EBT card.
    • In Iowa, find a Double Up Food Bucks location near you here.
    • Outside of Iowa, see if your state has this program and find participating grocery stores and Farmer’s Markets near you here.

Katie Sorrell is a Registered Dietitian who likes to try new recipes, go on walks and swim. She meal plans and shops at the grocery store on the weekend for the upcoming week to save money.

Jody Gatewood

Jody Gatewood is a Registered Dietitian who enjoys spending time in the kitchen baking and preparing meals for her family. She does lots of meal planning to stay organized and feed her family nutritious meals.

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