Written by: Patty Sneddon-Kisting, Executive Director of Urbandale Food Pantry

Attending the showing of Chelsea Eats project and the community conversation that followed, hosted by the UpLift team provided a sense of reassurance. It was encouraging to see the dialogue between community members of how basic income can complement existing support structures.

As we continue to explore innovative ways to uplift and support one another, the intersection between basic income and food pantries is a point of conversation. Food pantries play a crucial role in ensuring that everyone has access to nutritious meals, especially during challenging times. The Chelsea Eats Project sparked conversations about how a reliable income can contribute to reducing food insecurity.

Overseeing one of the busiest food pantries in the metro area, I can tell you that when families were given access to additional support through pandemic SNAP benefits the number of families that we were welcoming to the pantry decreased. Right now, pantries across the metro are serving record numbers of families and that need is continuing to grow. While this represents a stark reminder that families are struggling to put food on the table. It is heartening to see our community actively engaging in discussions about the broader impact of such initiatives like the UpLift project and the overall well-being of our community members.