Financial Help for Single Mothers in Iowa

The world is a tough place to live in for single-mother families who struggle to make ends meet. It is a reality which the Iowa state government aims to address through programs that are specially created for single moms.

These women have their hands full with family responsibilities. They have to take on the roles of both parents and still provide for the basic needs of their children. While it may seem easy, doing it alone can take its toll on any single mother. This makes the Iowa state programs more significant in helping them cope with life.

Food and Nutrition

The lack of steady income stream impacts on the single mom’s ability to put decent food on the table. Proper nutrition is given up for the reason that anything edible will do. But this bears down on their health. Through Iowa’s Food Assistance Program1, single mothers and very low-income Iowans who are eligible for the program can receive a supply of nutritious food supplements.

Temporary cash assistance is also provided for single mothers through the state’s Family Investment Program (FIP). FIP payments are based on the size of the family and household income.2

There are also several food banks around Iowa and one of these is the Northeast Iowa Food Bank. For more information, visit:

Health Insurance Coverage

Iowa Medicaid is a health insurance program that covers low to no income Iowans. According the eligibility requirements, a few notches up the threshold will automatically disqualify any policy holder from the program. This puts single mothers with income above the threshold in a quandary. Although they earn a decent living, it is still not enough for them to avail of quality health care.

For those who do not qualify under the Medicaid plan, Iowa offers the HAWK I: Healthy and Well Kids Program. It is not offered for free but the insurance premium rates as scaled down to meet the financial capacity of the applicant. Another possible support source is the IowaCare program.

Support for Child Care

Taking care of the welfare or wellbeing of the children is the most important responsibility of a single mother. If child care services are provided, they are able to focus on their work. But due to lack of finances, oftentimes they are forced to choose between taking care of their children and earning an income.

Through Iowa’s Child Care Assistance Program, income-eligible single mothers may apply for child care support. Those with children under 13 can also qualify as well as kids with special needs under the age of 19.


  1. The Food Assistance Program provides Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards that can be used to buy groceries at supermarkets, grocery stores and some Farmers Markets. []
  2. The Family Investment Program (FIP) is Iowa’s Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) program. []

Last updated: March 19, 2012 by & filed under Midwest, State Assistance

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