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New Hotline Helps the Hungry

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DES MOINES, Iowa -- A first-of-its-kind hotline is up and running across the state. The person answering the phone could help Iowans put food on the table.

The Iowa Food Bank Association rolled out hotline to reach people struggling to make ends meet.

“There are nearly 400,000 Iowans who have to make the choice everyday of buying their medication or putting food on the table for their families,” said Lindsey Haley, Operations Manager at the Iowa Food Bank Association.

Some of them will qualify for SNAP, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, and don’t even know it. The hotline will provide information about eligibility and help signing up for benefits.

“Hunger doesn't look like one person. Hunger is everyone from young children to working families,” said Haley.

Starting this month, there are new income guidelines for food assistance.

Household 1- $1,570 Gross Monthly Income
Household 2- $2,125 Gross Monthly Income
Household 3- $2,680 Gross Monthly Income
Household 4- $3,234 Gross Monthly Income
Household 5- $3,789 Gross Monthly Income
Household 6- $4,344 Gross Monthly Income
Household 7- $4,898 Gross Monthly Income
Household 8- $5,453 Gross Monthly Income

The number to the hotline is 855-944-FOOD (3663). It will be answered 8:00 – 4:30 Monday through Friday.

The Food Bank Association says several grants are covering the cost to run the service. It works with the Iowa Department of Human Services to provide food assistance through EBT cards.