It’s a new month: October. Fall is officially here bringing with it crisp cool weather and Halloween.
But for many Nebraska families, the turn of the calendar page means much more.
Public benefits programs, like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly Food Stamps) and Aid to Dependent Children (cash welfare) “kick in” at midnight on the first day of the month. This means that you’ll find many low-income families shopping for basic necessities late at night on the last day of the month – waiting to buy diapers and restock kitchen cupboards. National Public Radio aired an insightful profile of such families
October 1 is a small reminder that the lives of families in Nebraska are deeply impacted by public benefits programs. Debates about the state budget and poverty and the role of government continue to address these issues. And Nebraska Appleseed and the Low Income Economic Opportunity Program continue to work to protect and improve the programs that serve so many Nebraska families.
However, for just a moment, as this new month begins, let’s step away from the debate, and be glad that children and families in our state have started the month better able to meet their basic needs, better able to learn in school or better able to forget economic stress and concentrate on work and family life.