Iowa Capitol
John Pemble / IPR file

Republicans in the Iowa Senate have passed a bill that would require a portion of the state’s Medicaid recipients to work in order keep access to health coverage.

John Pemble / IPR file photo

Under a proposal moving ahead in the Iowa Senate, the Department of Human Services would take extra steps to confirm the eligibility of people receiving Medicaid and other forms of public assistance. The bill (SSB 3068) requires the agency to adopt a computer system to search state and federal databases for unreported income and other assets.

Katie Peikes / IPR file

Low-income communities hit hard by natural disasters recover more slowly than wealthier communities do, according to a new report from the Iowa Policy Project.

Flickr / Phil Roeder

As students head back to the classroom, dozens of schools across the state are preparing to offer free lunch and breakfast. A federal program called the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) pays for meals at schools with high poverty rates. Last year 157 Iowa schools were enrolled. That number is expected to go up for 2019.

U.S. Department of Education via flickr / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

An organization aimed at addressing racial disparities in the Quad Cities launched Wednesday. The African American Leadership Society has big goals – to help people of color, particularly kids, overcome years of discrimination and disinvestment.

Enrique Saldivar/Flickr https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/

Iowa has received one of the top rankings for child well-being in the state, according to the annual Kids Count Data Book released Monday by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. 

Katie Peikes / IPR

A Sioux City food pantry that is being evicted is looking at its next steps.

Staff at the Midtown Family Community Center are searching for a new home. The building they've used to serve people for the past 11 years has been sold, and they’re being evicted this month. The pantry serves more than 5,000 people each month, including at least 3,000 children.

Kate Payne/IPR file

Iowa Democratic Rep. Dave Loebsack is looking into a business that’s buying up mobile home parks in the state and then jacking up monthly bills for residents. Utah-based company Havenpark Capital plans to raise rents on tenants in Iowa by as much as 60 and 70 percent.

Jason Hsu/flickr creative commons / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/

While the school year is winding down, food insecure kids who normally rely on school lunches do have some options. There will be hundreds of meal sites across Iowa this summer where children can go to eat at no charge.

Sakuto via flickr creative commons / https://www.flickr.com/photos/sakuto/

People in need of warmth and shelter in eastern Iowa can find around the clock services during this week’s cold snap. Meterologists and public health officials are warning the blast of Arctic air can be life-threatening, and anyone exposed can develop hypothermia or frostbite within a matter of minutes. Here are some of the services and resources available in the eastern part of the state for those looking to get out of the cold:

Kate Payne

Iowa City officials say they’re considering replacing some benches downtown after advocates labeled them as hostile to homeless people. Two dozen advocates chanted and carried signs through the downtown Pedestrian Mall Monday to draw attention to the issue. 

Roey Ahram via flickr creative commons / https://www.flickr.com/photos/roeyahram/

Starting this month more hepatitis C patients can qualify for care under Iowa Medicaid. But some doctors and advocates argue the remaining restrictions are immoral and illegal. 

After 10 years of consistent gains, the number of immigrant families enrolled in SNAP, or the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, fell by 10 percent in 2018.

New, preliminary research presented this month at the American Public Health Association conference showed the drop was highest for for families who had been in the U.S for fewer than five years. It’s a reflection of what Harvest Public Media and other outlets reported earlier this year: that some families are choosing not to participate in federal benefit programs out of fear it could impact their immigration status.

OTA Photos / Flickr

Single mothers living in poverty can improve their health when they take charge of their financial lives, according to preliminary findings that researchers now hope to demonstrate in a much larger study.

arileu via flickr creative commons / https://www.flickr.com/photos/arileu/10597303795/in/photolist-h9rXdp-hbVuus

More than a third of Iowans across 457,223 households can’t afford basic expenses like housing and transportation, according to a new report from the United Way. In spite of economic recoveries since the Great Recession, many Iowans' wages aren't keeping up with the cost of living.