Update On Iowa’s Proposed SNAP Restrictions: Everything You Never Asked About Supplemental Nutrition Benefits.

What is the latest update on the proposed Iowa SNAP restrictions? The Iowa SNAP change BILL has passed.

The revisions to what food EBT users can or cannot buy with “food stamps” was addressed by Iowans about the impact of such strict changes.

The post has been edited for updates on the passage of the Iowa SNAP bill.

In my original version of this No Non-cents Nanna publication, I voiced my concern over the biased opinions of people who did not seem to know much about WIC requirements and why the restrictions for WIC. It was proposed in the bill prior to the amendments that SANP food would be limited to the food restrictions of WIC. This blog included many clickable links to precise information from the actual WIC website.

In this post, I added links to the official websites of the EBT ( food stamp) proposal see below. That contact information on the bill will remain in the post along with the steps in the process of amending the necessary changes to the bill. The current concern is for applicants to provide proof of need by income.

No Non-cents Nanna is here to help you on your research journey to better understand some of those government supplemental food programs.

 

A collection of EBT cards from several states

Copyright Statement Digital images are free for non-commercial, non-profit use.

They are provided by the USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

 

Read the Final Iowa SNAP Bill for Yourself

The Bill has now passed without including the WIC guideline proposes.

No Non-cents Nanna copied and pasted to “republish” in the block Quote below under the provision to republish under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. (Edited 3/25/2023) There were changes to the bill but not as dramatic as was feared.

Below this block quote, No Non-cents Nanna had in the original post went into details about the proposed changes. No Non-cents Nanna edited the news on this Bill’s passage with bullet points to make it easier to understand the points for the reader.

Iowans receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits would have to go through an asset test to continue receiving benefits under a bill passed by the Iowa Senate Wednesday.

Iowa Senate passes asset, income tests for SNAP eligibility

Senate File 494 would require Iowa families on SNAP to match federal asset test guidelines, meaning recipients could have a maximum of between $2,750 and $4,250 in assets to remain eligible.

  • The bill would also create a new system for the Iowa Health and Human Services Department to verify families’ income, asset and identities in order to apply and remain eligible for these benefits.

The bill gained national attention in January for requiring food bought through SNAP to meet Women, Infants, and Children Program (WIC) program requirements — putting foods like fresh meat, sliced cheese and bagged salads off limits.

  • This provision was dropped, but Democrats still argued the bill would have a major negative impact on low-income Iowa families.

The bill was amended before coming to the floor to exclude one vehicle from asset tests, after hearing from hunger resource advocates about the rising costs of cars and need for personal transportation in most of Iowa.

Several amendments proposed by Democrats included increasing the length of time for people to respond to the state notice of issues identified in review and increasing the income threshold for eligibility.

  • Republicans said the measure is necessary to combat fraudulent use of public benefit programs.
  • But Democrats and opponents to the bill said this fraud isn’t happening in Iowa and the changes will prevent Iowans who are legitimately in need from accessing public assistance for food.

In subcommittee meetings on the bill, advocates with Iowa food banks and hunger assistance programs said Iowans already have difficulties accessing government food assistance, with SNAP participation at a 14-year low while food banks reported record-high numbers of Iowans coming in.

Sen. Sarah Trone Garriott, D-West Des Moines, listed the number of SNAP recipients in each senator’s district and how much money local grocery stores and food providers see from that aid. 

  • The new tests and requirements could prevent people who qualify under new restrictions from accessing public aid, Trone Garriott said, as well as take money from local Iowa communities.
  • “Asset tests, no matter how high we set that level, mean that folks have to calculate and provide proof for everything they own,” Trone Garriott said. “That’s going to be a barrier to a lot of people to complete the process, or to even apply, because they have to detail everything. I don’t know if I could provide that kind of proof.”

But the bill’s floor manager, Sen. Jeff Edler, R-State Center, disagreed with Trone Garriott on the role of public assistance programs in local economies. These programs are “not intended to be economic generating programs,” he said.

“It is mean spirited and a little bit appalling to even suggest that we need to keep Iowans on SNAP in order to fuel our economy,” Edler said.

Edler said no Iowans will be removed from SNAP unless they are found to not qualify for the assistance. He said claims that fraud wasn’t happening in Iowa were false, pointing to reports like one of the state violating U.S. Department of Agriculture regulations involving the SNAP program in 2018.

“We have a responsibility as elected officials to ensure that tax dollars are being responsibly allocated,” Edler said.

The bill passed 34-16, and heads to the House.

A companion bill, House File 613, has passed through the House Health and Human Services Committee but has not yet moved through the appropriations process.

Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site. Please see our republishing guidelines for use of photos and graphics.

 

 

The original No Non-cents Nanna posted quotes and they remain after editing to update on the bill passing.

 

For those who only have time or interest to read above the fold: Here is the spoiler…

Spoiler Alert: It will cost the Feds too much to monitor so many restrictions as were stated in the originally proposed changes.

 

In My Opinion…

According to No Non-cents Nanna the Worst Part of the Problem of the House File 3; proposed bill:

  • Social Media disinformation
  • There fore I propose we look more closely at the definitions of words before we can go forward

Are you seeing any troubling statements all over social media over this Food Program Proposal?

If you see a red flag, then it is time to use your critical thinking skills to sort out facts from fiction and drama from reality.

In case you need a review of what exactly “critical thinking” *is – check out the block quote below.

*

Critical thinking is the analysis of available facts, evidence, observations, and arguments to form a judgment.

The subject is complex; several different definitions exist, which generally include the rational, skeptical, and unbiased analysis or evaluation of factual evidence.Wikipedia

 

In January 2023 Social Media Neglect sparked a hyperbolic Shock & Awe over the proposed (key word is proposed) restrictions to Iowa’s Supplemental Nutrition program commonly known as Food Stamps. This No Non-cents Nanna original post was published on March 5, 2023. This post is now updated on March 25, 2023, as the BILL has now passed after amendments (changes to the original document.)

After you read a few facts are you seeing that those headlines a few weeks back do not seem to line up? it is confusing, isn’t it?

To me the No Non-cents Nanna, I think that too many are not hearing or understanding the meaning of some important words. Therefore, I am using more block quotes to help clarify the definitions.

Supplemental
sup·ple·men·tal
ADJECTIVE NORTH AMERICAN
  1. provided in addition to what is already present or available to complete or enhance it:
    “many premature infants need supplemental oxygen soon after birth”

    supplemental

    (of a pleading, an affidavit, etc.) added to furnish what is lacking or missing. anything that is supplemental: supplementals attached to the bill in committee. 

 

No Non-cents Nanna says it even if no one else says it.

In other words, SNAP or WIC was not intended to be anyone’s entire food budget. For some, with extremely limited resources SNAP may be their only way to buy food.

The funds from EBT and SNAP are supposed to help add nutritious food to the meals of low-income people who are struggling for whatever valid reason. The goal of the proposed bill at first was aimed at trying to push people to actually shop wisely for economical nutritious food versus using government benefits on empty calories.

The SNAP Bill’s proposal suggested using WIC as a model of good nutrition. Howver, that proposal did not take into account that WIC supplemental nutrition needs are not a One-Size-Fits-All.

The proposed bill House File 3; wanted to restrict EBT purchases to the criteria for WIC (Women Infants and Children) a nutritional supplement program for pregnant women, breastfeeding women, formula-fed infants, and young low-income children. ((Key words are to supplement, pregnant women, breastfeeding women, infants and children.)

Is there a difference between the word “propose” and this is now a law? Yes, there is a difference – a proposed bill is not a law, yet.

Propose

VERB proposed (past tense) · proposed (past participle)
    • put forward (a motion) to a legislature or committee:
      “the government put its slim majority to the test by proposing a vote of confidence”

      SIMILAR:

      To put forward (an idea or plan) for consideration or discussion by others:
      “he proposed a new nine-point peace plan” · “I proposed that we should retain a 51 percent stake in the company” · “we propose to be away for six months”

What to do if you do not like a proposed bill? Is it too late to have a say? How do I know what the rules are?

Solution:

Be better informed by going to the source of information before you pass judgment in a public statement.

 

First Step in the Solution to the Problem Process 

  • Have a clear understanding of all the terms involved in the Proposed SNAP Restrictions that are suggested to be the criteria guide for SNAP in Iowa.
  • No Non-cents Nanna made it easy for you to do your own research with clickable links that support the proposed bill process.

 

What is SNAP?

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

https://www.fns.usda.gov/snap

SNAP provides nutrition benefits to supplement the food budget of needy families so they can purchase healthy food and move towards self-sufficiency

SNAP is supposed to help families get on their feet – not live off of forever.

SNAP also supplements the nutritional needs of the disabled and elderly in our community who do not have enough resources for healthy food that may help avoid long term medical complications with the help. (My words)

 

What can SNAP buy currently?

As of March 5, 2023, this is what the USDA website says and I quote without their permission for informational purposes…

Any food for the household, such as:

  • Fruits and vegetables;
  • Meat, poultry, and fish;
  • Dairy products;
  • Breads and cereals;
  • Other foods such as snack foods and non-alcoholic beverages; and
  • Seeds and plants, which produce food for the household to eat.

What Can SNAP Buy? | Food and Nutrition Service (usda.gov)

If you have a question about the eligibility of product for purchase using SNAP benefits, read answers to popular questions in the AskUSDA system.

If you click on the link right above in the quote you will see the portion that I copied and pasted.

Also on that page is an explanation of what you cannot purchase with SNAP.

It should be obvious, but it is spelled out that Make-Up is something you cannot buy with SNAP. 

 

What is EBT and what are Food Stamps?

Disclaimer: Again, I copied and pasted from the official website without expressed permission for the purpose of accurate information that can be validated by clicking on the clickable links. The government does want people to share accurate facts.

This information is available to anyone with internet access. It is also available in printed form in many languages. This is for your information.

The old Food Stamp system was a little booklet with printed values for that “stamp”. The Stamps were torn out of the booklet. Sometimes the lower denominations were given as change rather than U. S. currency.

Now, EBT is used like a credit card. In Iowa, there is no sales tax on food purchased with EBT. Not all retailers have a contract to work with EBT.

 

The Food Stamp Program is a Federal program that provides a monthly allotment of Food Stamp benefits issued via Electronic Benefit Transfer cards (like ATM cards, they are called EBT cards). The Food Stamp Program is an entitlement program; so all eligible individuals and households can receive assistance.
www.benefits.gov/benefit/1389

 

What is WIC? How is WIC different from SNAP?

The key words will be: women, breastfeeding, infant, formula, child and suppliment.

 

Food Packages Farmers Market and Grocery Store Food Package

Copyright: The USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) offers this digital image collection for FNS’ nutrition assistance programs and their partners to download and use in communicating education and outreach messages. FNS requests that these pictures be used only for promotion, informational and educational purposes…

 

https://www.fns.usda.gov/wic/about-wic

Jul 9, 2022 · The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children – better known as the WIC program – serves to safeguard the health of low-income pregnant, postpartum, and breastfeeding women, infants, and children up to age 5 who are at …

 

 

The block quote below is from the USDA on WIC laws and regulations.

Click on the link to inform yourself about what the actual laws and regulations are. Read through that on the official website if you are not familiar with it.

This is the documented rule – outsiders’ opinions or personal preferences do not matter.

  1. https://www.fns.usda.gov/wic/wic-laws-and-regulations

    WebWIC regulations are published by the Federal Register in the Code of Federal Regulations, 7 CFR Part 246. The CFR is updated with files with an effective date as of January 1 each …

 

 

NEW: 2022 Proposed Revisions in the WIC Food Packages

The WIC food packages provide supplemental foods designed to meet the special nutritional needs of low-income pregnant, breastfeeding, non-breastfeeding postpartum women, infants and children up to five years of age who are at nutritional risk.

WIC food packages and nutrition education are the chief means by which WIC affects the dietary quality and habits of participants.

Iowa WIC | Iowa Department of Health and Human Services

WebWIC families include infants and children up to 5 years old and women who are pregnant, breastfeeding, or have had a baby in the last 6 months. Fathers, stepparents, grandparents …

FY 2023 FRUIT AND VEGETABLE BENEFIT

(updated 12/12/2022)

On August 25, 2022, WIC Policy Memorandum #2022-8 was published by the USDA Food and Nutrition Service.

  • It provides state agencies with guidance for issuing the monthly Cash-Value Voucher/Benefit (CVV/B) for fruit and vegetable purchases to participants in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children for fiscal year (FY) 2023.
  • This guidance is contingent upon requirements set forth in the FY 2023 continuing resolution and/or appropriation.

The CVV/B amounts will increase in FY 2023 to $25 for child participants, $44 for pregnant and postpartum participants and $49 for fully and partially breastfeeding participants. Contact your local WIC agency for more information.

WIC families include infants and children up to 5 years old and women who are pregnant, breastfeeding or have had a baby in the last 6 months.

Fathers, stepparents, grandparents and foster parents may all apply for their children. Go to WIC Families »

The following WIC foods must also comply with Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Standards of Identity: infant formula, exempt infant formula, milks, cheese, fruit and vegetable juices, shell eggs, canned/frozen fruits and vegetables, whole wheat bread, canned fish, and peanut butter.
www.fns.usda.gov/wic/wic-food-packages-regulatory-requirements-wic-eligible-f…

The following WIC foods must also comply with Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Standards of Identity:

  • infant formula,
  • exempt infant formula,
  • milks,
  • cheese,
  • fruit and
  • vegetable juices,
  • shell eggs,
  • canned/frozen fruits and vegetables,
  • whole wheat bread,
  • canned fish,
  • and peanut butter.

Standards of identity define what a given food product is, its name, and the ingredients that must be used, or may be used in the manufacture of the food. To view the Standards of Identity for these foods, visit the FDA web site at http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfcfr/cfrsearch.cfm

State agencies are required to authorize container sizes that provide the full maximum monthly allowance of foods without exceeding the maximum.

 

  • As you can see from the quote blocks above there ARE a lot of restrictions to what WIC provides.

This does vary somewhat from state to state. (I only scratched the surface of my copy-and-paste effort to REDUCE your effort to research the facts from the source.)

With this said, I must ask, WHY in the world are you complaining about FREE Food that is meant to add to your and your child’s nutritional needs?

 

WIC Restrictions:

Note: I only copied and pasted the HIGH LIGHTS. For complete details go to the USDA.GOV WEBSITE

  • Each type of WIC approved will give you more details.
  • Each of those types of foods is to offer more of the extra vitamins and minerals that pregnant and nursing mothers need in order to be sure their babies have the best start in life.
  • These WIC vouchers are for infants and young children-NOT the whole family.

The amounts are not designed to be the only source of food for that baby.

In case you are wondering – if the father is raising a baby, yes, they may apply for WIC, If they qualify by income. (See further below.)

Your favorite sugar-filled cereal is NOT approved by WIC and has nothing to do with being fair – Brightly colored cereal with marshmallows has little good stuff that will make you healthy – it is junk food – so not on the WIC approved. Junk food will not supplement a healthy diet.

 

WIC-Eligible Foods

 

No Non-cents Nanna’s rant continues…

For those who are thinking, “That’s not fair”. Well, you “got another ‘think’ coming”.

Let’s use some critical thinking skills over the “that’s not fair” emotional reaction.

The food NOT ALLOWED on WIC and also on the proposed bill for SNAP doesn’t have much to offer in the way of adding good vitamins, minerals, and protein in the first place.

Sure, junk food that may be what is available at the corner liquor store or gas station is “fast – food” that may be a quick fix for a hungry tummy. I also know that many mothers are not used to eating “real” food. Some are not willing to try anything new.

But a candy bar and packaged cheese and crackers or a bottle of orange soda do nothing to support the growing body of the baby or child.

For whatever reason, some mothers/parents need help learning what is healthy and what is not. Some women need a support person to read directions to them. WIC staff can help with this.

When the WIC program was created, the hope was that parents would be encouraged to feed their kids healthy foods rather than sugary, high-fat, high-salt junk food. In the future adults who had been on WIC as a baby would have fewer health problems.

WIC is FREE to lower-income individuals and families. Of course, there has to be some payoff: the payoff is to not stay on government assistance, feel well enough to get a job, and keep a job. SNAP and WIC were not created to keep people life-long dependent on the system. The exception is for the long-term disabled and elderly.

Do we need to have this out more? Leave a comment and I will do my best to get back to you.

 

Not Allowed

JUICE Requirements

  • Fruit drinks
  • Fruit-flavored ades
  • Sodas
  • Other beverages that are not 100% juice

MILK Requirements

  • Must conform to FDA standard of identity at 21 CFR Part 133.
  • Must be domestic cheese made from 100% pasteurized milk.
  • Cheeses that are labeled low, free, reduced, less or light in sodium, fat or cholesterol are allowed.

Not Allowed

    • Cheese foods or spreads
    • Imported cheeses
  • Not Allowed
    • Yogurts sold with accompanying mix-in ingredients such as granola, candy pieces, honey, nuts and similar ingredients.
    • Drinkable yogurts.
  • Tofu is a allowed (go to the page to learn more
  • Eggs

    Types of Eggs/Requirements

    • Fresh shell Domestic hen’s eggs*: any size, white or brown shells.
    • Dried egg mix: must conform to FDA standard of identity at 21 CFR Part 160.105.
    • Pasteurized liquid whole eggs: must conform to FDA standard at 21 CFR Part 160.115.

    * Note: Hard boiled eggs may be issued to homeless participants at the state agency’s discretion.

  • Mature Legumes (Dry Beans and Peas) (Via WIC Food Instrument)

    Types of Mature Legumes

    Any type of mature dry beans, peas, or lentils in dry-packaged or canned* forms

  •  Baked beans are only authorized for participants with limited cooking facilities.* Note: “Canned” refers to processed food items in cans or other shelf-stable containers, (e.g., jars, pouches).
  • Requirements
    • May not contain added sugars*, fats, oils or meat, fruit or vegetables as purchased.
    • Canned legumes may be regular or lower in sodium.
    • Not Allowed
      • Soups
      • Immature varieties of legumes, such as those used in canned green peas, green beans, snap beans, yellow beans, and wax beans.
      • Baked beans with meat (e.g., beans and franks).
    • Peanut Butter

      Types of Peanut Butter

      • creamy or chunky, regular or reduced fat, salted or unsalted

      Requirements

      Not Allowed

      • Peanut Spreads
      • Peanut butter with added jelly, honey, chocolate, marshmallow or other mixtures
    • Fruits and Vegetables Fresh and Processed *
      (Via Cash-Value Vouchers)

      Types/Requirements of Fruits and Vegetables

      ^ Note: States must offer WIC-eligible fresh fruits and vegetables (including white potatoes) AND must allow organic forms of these items; canned, frozen, and/or dried fruits and vegetables are offered at the state agency’s option.

    • Any variety of fresh (as defined by 21 CFR 101.95) whole or cut fruit without added sugars.
    • Any variety of canned fruits (must conform to FDA standard of identity as appropriate (21 CFR part 145)); including applesauce, juice pack or water pack without added sugars, fats, oils, or salt (i.e., sodium). The fruit must be listed as the first ingredient.
    • * Note: “Processed” refers to frozen, canned, or dried.
    • ** Note: “Canned” refers to processed food items in cans or other shelf-stable containers (e.g., jars, pouches).
    • *** Note: Small amounts of sugar are added to some foods that are naturally sugar-containing during the canning process to prevent stress resulting in membrane rupture (i.e. sweet peas). This small amount of added sugar is minimal and helps to maintain the quality and structure of the food. To encourage greater variety in food choices in the WIC food packages, canned vegetables that contain a small amount of sugar for processing purposes, such as plain canned sweet peas and corn, are allowed.
    • Not Allowed
      • herbs and spices
      • creamed vegetables or vegetables with added sauces
      • mixed vegetables containing noodles, nuts or sauce packets
      • vegetable-grain (pasta or rice) mixtures
      • fruit-nut mixtures
      • breaded vegetables
      • fruits and vegetables for purchase on salad bars
      • peanuts or other nuts
      • ornamental and decorative fruits and vegetables such as chili peppers on a string; garlic on a string
      • gourds; painted pumpkins; fruit baskets and party vegetable trays
      • decorative blossoms and flowers
      • foods containing fruits such as blueberry muffins and other baked goods.
      • home-canned and home-preserved fruits and vegetables.
    • Canned Fish

      Types of Canned* Fish

      Canned only:

      • Light tuna, as defined by FDA in 21 CFR Part 161.190
      • Salmon, as defined by FDA in 21 CFR Part 161.170
      • Sardines
      • Mackerel (ONLY N. Atlantic Scoumber scombrus, Chub Pacific Scomber japonicas, or Jack Mackerel)

      Requirements**

      • May be packed in water or oil.
      • Pack may include bones or skin.
      • May be regular or lower in sodium content.

      * Note: Canned refers to processed food items in cans or other shelf-stable containers, (e.g., jars, pouches).
      ** Note: At the state agency’s option, flavorings such as lemon or herbs are allowable.

  • Infant Foods

    Infant Cereal

    Types of Cereal

    • Any plain, dry infant cereal (e.g., rice, barley, mixed grain)

    Requirements

    • Minimum of 45 milligrams of Iron per 100 grams of dry cereal.

    Not Allowed

    • Infant cereal with added infant formula, milk, fruit, or other non-cereal ingredients.
  • Not Allowed
    • Mixtures with cereal or infant food desserts (e.g., peach cobbler).
  • SNAPSHOT of the WIC Food Package1

    Maximum Monthly Allowances of Supplemental Foods for Children and Women

 

 

I got the block quote right below Fri, Mar 3, 2:45 PM in my subscribed email from Iowa Senator Weiner. I edited down to shorten the quote to only this topic… I also changed the font color to help the most important words stand out.

  • Don’t sit passively and complain.
  • Make some kind of active contact with my elected representatives.
  • In fact, I subscribe to many email communications as one of a number of ways that can closely follow my specific interests. (Further down I will add a block quote section for how to contact your elected lawmakers in another post.)

Proposed Bills go through a process before they become laws. I will copy and paste something on how that is done for those who are not aware of the long process. I was able to track of the SNAP bill by regular email subscriptions.

Senator Weiner in the partial quote of her email in my inbox tells Iowans exactly where some bills were on March 3, 2023.


From the Desk of Senator Weiner

Fri, Mar 3, 2:45 PM

…a few… bad bills that made it through committee and thus stay “alive”, at least until the next funnel at the end of March:

  • SSB 1105Asset testing and eligibility restrictions for SNAP, Medicaid, FIP, and CHIP: This bill, which passed out of the Health and Human Services Committee, is designed to put up unnecessary barriers for people getting and keeping healthcare services and putting food on the table for their families.
  • Ironically, the food banks of Iowa, including HACAP, were in the Rotunda this Tuesday, highlighting that at least 13% of Iowans are hungry, especially older Iowans and children.
  • Creating complex asset testing for SNAP and Medicaid will increase administrative costs (on SNAP, the state pays the admin costs – the feds pay for the food). This solves no problem (fraud is miniscule), will cost the state more, and it does not help Iowans.

 

 

 

Below I copied and pasted without expressed permission for information purposes only to make a strong point about Supplemental Nutrition.

I do not own a copyright on the following. Please acknowledge the source by going directly to the website.

Nutrition: Essential for Life
Nutrition is the process of obtaining and using food for growth, health, and reproduction of living organisms.
Is the Food Pyramid Still Relevant? - Next Level Urgent Care

Learn More:

Global web icon
What Is Nutrition? – Modes Of Nutrition In Living Organisms – BYJUS
Global web icon
Nutrition | definition of nutrition by Medical dictionary

 

The below was part of the process and is now outdated.

  • Legislation to stop Iowans from using SNAP …
  • fresh meat,
  • butter,
  • sliced cheese
  • bagged salads

 

…advanced despite controversy that made national news this week.

… Iowans’ concerns at a meeting Thursday, members of the House Health and Human Services subcommittee said

  •  planned to amend the proposal to remove most of those restrictions.
  • The Republican lawmakers still voted to advance the legislation for committee consideration, despite numerous concerns speakers raised about other aspects of the proposal.

In its current formHouse File 3 would require food bought with Iowa Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) cards to match approved foods listed in Women, Infants, and Children Program (WIC) program.

Advocates and disabled Iowans told legislators…

  • the list of approved foods in Iowa’s WIC program were tailored to meet the needs of pregnant women and children in early development — but that these restrictions are not necessarily healthy to apply universally.

 

I subscribe to the Daily Iowa Capital Dispatch emails.

I can keep up with certain bills that pertain to my interests with my chosen focus on family health and wellness. (and safety)

 

Below is a quote from January 27, 2023, meeting about the Proposed Bill which says:

  • “We talked about healthy eating.
  • You can’t point anything out of those two items that are healthy.” — Rep. Ann Meyer, R-Fort Dodge, on…
  • a GOP plan to ban the use of SNAP benefits to buy candy and soda with sugar.
    • The original bill also eliminated benefits to buy fresh meat, butter, sliced cheese and bagged salad…

 

A family purchases produce from a farmers' market vendor

Copyright image proved by USDA for educational purposes.

 

The nutritional needs of the small segment of the US population have very different dietary concerns then let’s say, an elderly man’s. (This is redundant I know. But it should verify the correct answer to my previous question I challenge you with.)

  • I will give reference to the actual WIC-approved products down below in my reference section.
  • Basically, WIC wants to offer extra protein and calcium foods to mommies and small children that are not processed artificial garbage.

Over the decades of having worked with young mothers, they complained that WIC was “not enough and that they did not like the foods offered”. I had to remind them that WIC is a supplement for them – not their boyfriend.

  • I, personally was in the WIC program when my two daughters were babies decades ago.
  • I am currently the guardian shopper for my physically disabled adult son who has SNAP benefits. I shop for him as he is not able to do so for himself. Even though I do the work of shopping, this still allows him the independence to choose from what he likes within his budget. (And mom approved.)
  • I prepare his Occupational Therapist prescribed diet. Since we both have very different dietary needs based on our unique medical histories I for the most part prepare 2 separate meals. (He needs food that he can feed himself without my help. He cannot cut up food. He can no longer use a stove or microwave. He can use his standing wheelchair function to get a frozen ice cube or a frozen juice bar from the freezer – provided I got him into his wheelchair and put the extra pieces into the proper places to allow him to use the standing function.)

(Personal disclosure. I do not qualify for Food Benefits. We are our own separate Head of House Holds. I don’t need to tell you this. I want to share some insight on how SNAP assets work in some cases.)

During my nursing career, I was closely aligned with professional friends who worked at my local WIC and immunization clinics. I know how the program works. With that said, the people who worked on the proposed EBT/ SNAP restrictions apparently had no personal experience – it just seemed like a good idea to not allow the SNAP funds to buy junk food.

Another concern I had over the proposed restrictions was the obliviousness to the needs of people with disabilities trying to live independently and may need to bring home groceries that are already cut up for them.

It was obvious to me that many could not comprehend that their favorite cereals and juices were super sugar-laden nutritional devoid food. Sure those cute cartoon-character ready-to-eat boxed cereal and brightly-colored bottles of artificially flavored fruit bottles did have “fortified vitamins” on the label.

The WIC program is not only a program to enhance the extra nutritional needs but to get littles started off on the right track of choosing to eat healthy foods.

Social Media Clickbait

Apparently, Youtubers, Twitter users, and more never bothered to go to Iowa’s EBT page for all the facts. Many read non-credible Clickbait publications for the shock and awe reactions of followers. I, as a content writer am very emotionally put off by misleading uninformed cries on the internet or in person. It bothers me when this subject is part of my expertise. I feel I must be redundant – repeating myself – because some people don’t listen long enough to make informed decisions before they get angry about the government.

(The exception that I am aware of is Nicole Theisen the content creator of Low Income Relief. )

Personally, this No Non-cents Nanna is in the Email subscription loop of numerous US governmental agencies. It is not unusual to see YouTubers picking up on a sensational headline and then giving their biased opinions that and I quote, once again, because I believe those who constantly put out this message are doing the public wrong.

“The Government wants to starve you” or “The government wants to control you.”

 

No Non-cents Nanna’s Personal Beef with Bad Information on Social Media

Edited and Updated March 25th 2023

I am from Iowa and I know the bill was only proposed. I am going to do everything I can to try to get the record set straight on social media by helping you to connect to the correct source. I take this as a personal challenge.

  • That means weeks ago many people got excited about passing on this “horrible news”. However, this SNAP change was not a law at that time.
  • The suggested changes in the BILL were ONLY suggestions to make changes that would encourage those on supplemental food benefits would be making more healthy eating choices than they are.
  • There was no official list of banned foods at that time. Yes, foods like American cheese was listed by “news” sources. In my Opinion “American Cheese” in individual wrappers is not real food – not much but calories with little nutritional value. (Plastic food.)
  • BTW: Ask me about the letter I got from CPSC when I asked the agency if the “government was going to ban gas stoves”. The US government is NOT banning gas stoves nor is the government coming to take your gas stove away. The word ‘recall” offers a solution.
  • “Recall doesn’t mean to “take away”. “Recall” does not have the same meaning as “BAN”.
  • “The government is coming to take away all gas stoves or has banned gas stoves” is not the truth – whatever Youtuber made this claim is dead wrong- did not dig deep to proper resources such as asking the government agency itself. Give it some thought if a YouTuber made that claim did they correct the claim or not? Can they be trusted to tell the ‘truth”?
  • Read the block quote below from Senator Janice Weiner that came in my email telling me where this proposed Bill is in the law-making process.
  • Truth be told there are far too many content creators that jumped too quickly on the story without accurate facts. I find this common practice disheartening for the American people. Unfortunately, many of those YouTube content creators don’t tend to clarify or correct their wrong opinions. Shame on them for misleading you. I have posted comments correcting the errors – those YouTubers who are stuck in the mindset that “only they know the truth” will call the comment a liar or delete anyone that does not agree with them. Don’t take my word for it – but, please watch who does that. The good folks who do make corrections for their mistakes, seem to be the ones to watch more consistently for accurate insights.

However, WIC vouchers are very specific.

 

The internet trend was “on fire” with emotionally provoking titles and boo-hoo statements similar to:

“Millions of poor people in the US are going to starve and the government doesn’t care…”

“…the government lies about everything..”

 Without asking permission to copy and paste block quotes with corresponding clickable links to the source, and under the Free Source act, I am using the following quotes for informational purposes. You can read it in black and white knowing that the following block quote is not the opinion of Malika Bourne the No Non-cents Nanna.

Why don’t the sample comments in the block quote above seem to line up with the block quote directly below? Am I missing some ‘secret they don’t want us to know”?

Leave a comment with your source. I’d love to hear what you have to add to the discussion.

The block quote below is from January 26, 2023.

BY:   JANUARY 26, 2023 4:42 PM

After hearing Iowans’ concerns at a meeting Thursday, members of the House Health and Human Services subcommittee said they planned to amend the proposal to remove most of those restrictions.

The Republican lawmakers still voted to advance the legislation for committee consideration, despite numerous concerns speakers raised about other aspects of the proposal.

Meyer said she agrees the targeted programs are important safety nets to help people out of poverty.

The legislation is meant to ensure both that people in need continue to get SNAP and Medicaid benefits, but that those who aren’t eligible cannot access the programs’ funds.

“They’re all your tax dollars,” Meyer said. “We want to make sure that we’re giving them to the right people.”

Tyler Raygor with Americans for Prosperity said he understood other speakers’ concerns about the program cutting off people in need, but said everyone needs to remember that Iowa is working with “finite taxpayer dollars.”

Others, including Leslie Carpenter with Iowa Mental Health Advocacy, said this framing was disingenuous. Iowa reported a nearly $2 billion budget surplus in fiscal year 2022.

“I want to say thank you for being concerned about protecting those fees,” Carpenter said. “I would say that our ability to support that is not finite. We do have excess income in our state and every one of us in this room knows it.”

The legislation will next be discussed in the House Health and Human Services Committee, where it can be amended.

 

How does an idea by your elected officials in your state government get to be a State Law?

A proposed BILL is only a potential law – it is not a law yet in the state in which the Bill was written. – a Proposed BILL is NOT a LAW.

Even after a Bill goes through all the committees and the entire process of your state – (see below the click on the links) to be passed into a LAW of your state – the new LAW in NOT a Law in any other state unless a similar idea is written into a proposed bill in any other state. Now, if we were discussing a FEDERAL LAW that is different from state law. – They are two different things.

  1. https://freedomforallamericans.org/8-things-to…
      1. The path most bills follow in state legislatures to become law is pretty similar. …
      2. Each state process is unique. Every state has their own rules that can change …
      3. What happens in a committee hearing? Every chamber has several …
      4. What do the letters and numbers mean in a bill number? Every bill number has …

 

 

https://www.usa.gov/how-laws-are-made

Steps in Making a Law.

  1. A bill can be introduced in either chamber of Congress by a senator or representative who sponsors it.
  2. Once a bill is introduced, it is assigned to a committee whose members will

 

  • research, discuss,
  • and make changes to the bill.
  • The bill is then put before that chamber to be voted on.

How Laws Are Made | USAGov

Congress is the legislative branch of the federal government and makes laws for the nation. Congress has two legislative bodies or chambers: the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives.

Anyone elected to either body can propose a new law. A bill is a proposal for a new law.

 

 

What can you do when you learn about a proposed bill that you think is a bad idea?

  • You can gripe on social media
  • You can research the proposed BILL so you can make an informed decision about certain points
  • You can contact your elected officials

Below is the block quote I copy and pasted what you need to know.

Once again, I did not ask permission to copy & paste. Under Fair Use Act I am including this pertinent quote for Informational Purposes.

  • Federal Elected Officials Contact President Joe Biden online,
  • call the White House switchboard at 202-456-1414 or the comments line at…
  • Locate your U.S. senators’ contact information.
  • Find your U.S. representative’s website and contact information.

In the block quote below, all you have to do is click on the clickable links – doing that will take you to the correct page where you can search for your very own elected representatives.

 

https://www.usa.gov/elected-officials

WebMay 30, 2019 ·

  • How to Contact Your Elected Officials

     

    Federal Elected Officials

    State Elected Officials

    Local Elected Officials

    • Locate your mayor by name, city, or population size.
    • Find your county executive (the head of the executive branch of government in your county) by map search or your ZIP Code. The county executive may be an elected or appointed position.
    • Get the contact information for your city, county, and town officials.

 

Check out this related post: You CAN Report Faulty Products – How to Find Resources – No Non-cents Nanna

 

This is Malika Bourne the No Non-cents Nanna: I have been working on this post for a week already to make it perfect. It is not there yet where I want it to be. Please leave me a note in the comments section. I will be happy to try to explain in more detail if you need help. I am not an EBT social worker.

I published this post a few minutes ago to solve an urgent need that was requested. This not-perfect spot has been updated with the new Iowa Law.3/25/2023

 

 

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