Author: Kate Bolz

Extra Credit: Resources for Non-Traditional, Parenting, and Low-Income Students

Getting a degree is one of the best long-term pathways out of poverty for low income families.  Degree completion is also important to colleges and universities, especially important now as more non-traditional students are seeking post-secondary education. Research shows that access to public assistance programs, such as Medicaid and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, can help keep students in school… Read more →

Summer Food Programs keep hungry kids fed year-round

As we get ready for Thanksgiving this week and our thoughts are turning to the upcoming holiday season, summer seems far away. But it’s not too soon to imagine great possibilities for summer feeding programs for our kids, thanks to new funding from the Nebraska Department of Education Nutrition Services Division. Many people are surprised to discover that 42 percent… Read more →

Opportunity Scorecard reveals struggles, suggests solutions for working families in Nebraska

Economic security for Nebraska families is key to making our state great.  But, despite working hard, too many Nebraska families struggle. A new assessment from Nebraska Appleseed released today examines how Nebraska stacks up in key economic indicators for working families.  The Nebraska Opportunity Scorecard measures economic security, economic mobility, and economic opportunity in the state compared to the rest… Read more →

Five Things the U.S. Census Bureau Tells us About Poverty in Nebraska

The U.S. Census Bureau recently released a study regarding poverty nationwide and in Nebraska.  What does this data tell us about how we are faring as a state?  Five key points become clear: 1. Nebraska’s poverty levels are not improving: The number of people nationwide living in poverty remained essentially unchanged from a year ago, but slightly more Nebraskans are… Read more →

Talk about Poverty: Jessica’s Story

Jessica Bartholow is one of the brightest and most hard working anti-poverty advocates out there, and I’m proud to know her.  She shares her story, and her questions for President Obama and Governor Romney regarding how they would ensure economic security in this article from “The Nation.” Jessica is a testament to the idea that smart investments in our people,… Read more →

Defending the First Line of Defense Against Hunger

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as Food Stamps), is frequently referred to as the nation’s first line of defense against hunger.  Since the beginning of the program, SNAP has helped millions of Americans avoid hunger and malnutrition, especially children, the elderly, and people with disabilities (for a historical perspective on SNAP, watch “Food Stamps Make America Stronger”).… Read more →

Summer Meals Progress Report

During the school year, thousands of Nebraska children benefit from the National School Lunch Free and Reduced Price Meals program.  This program assures that low-income kids have access to nutritious meals in schools so that they can learn and grow. Unfortunately, hunger rates increase in the summer, especially for kids. In Nebraska, we reach just one in ten kids who… Read more →

“Hunger Hits Home” Documentary Viewing & Summit

Hunger Free Heartland Anti-Hunger Summit Join Hunger Free Heartland and partners to talk about what is being done to end childhood hunger here in in the metro area (Douglas, Sarpy and Pottawattamie counties) and across Nebraska. View:  “Hunger Hits Home”, a new documentary from Share Our Strength. Learn from advocates and local legislators what you can do to affect change and make a difference! See more… Read more →

Time, Patience, Justice

Here at Nebraska Appleseed, we have heard a lot about ACCESS Nebraska, the new system for managing Health and Human Services programs using on-line applications and call centers instead of caseworkers. We’ve heard from intake callers, folks who participated in listening sessions this fall, and people who testified at the interim study hearing and bill hearing. The case for action… Read more →

Nebraska Organizations Urged to Sign SNAP Support Letter to Senators Nelson and Johanns

Every five years, Congress reauthorizes the Farm Bill, a comprehensive piece of legislation that includes, among other items, SNAP/Food Stamps. This year, the Farm Bill is up for reauthorization. As a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, Senators Nelson and Johanns are key players in the Farm Bill reauthorization effort. As Farm Bill deliberations heat up, we need to demonstrate… Read more →

Kids Crusin’ Kitchen Food Truck Visits Capitol

The “Kids Crusin’ Kitchen” mobile summer food truck visited the Nebraska State Capitol today to draw attention to childhood hunger problems and solutions.  The truck, operated by the Food Bank for the Heartland, The Salvation Army, and Hunger Free Heartland, serves meals to children in low-income communities during the summer. “One in six children in Nebraska struggles with hunger,” explains… Read more →

Educate, Innovate to Compete

It’s March Madness. If your office is anything like Nebraska Appleseed’s, the intense water cooler conversations have begun. Competition can bring out the best in us. It can push us to stretch our boundaries, find new ways to get things done, and do our best. It’s time for Nebraska to educate and innovate to compete. LB 1079 is currently under… Read more →

Nebraskans Increasingly Experiencing Food Hardship

Nearly one in five Americans and one in seven Nebraskans had difficulty affording food in the last year according to a report, “Food Hardship in America 2011,” released by the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC). “It’s concerning that food hardship continues to increase in our state, as does participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and the Free and… Read more →

A Win-Win for Business Growth and Work Experience

Nebraskans have a strong work ethic, and our labor force is one of our most important economic strengths. Nebraska businesses, especially small businesses, rely on our workers to help create economic growth and success. LB 1136 would utilize existing funds to provide employers opportunities to bring on additional employees with time-limited wage subsidies to help their businesses grow. It would… Read more →

Addressing the Skills Gap and Building Our Future Workforce

We fully support LB 1079 and believe it will both build opportunity and effectively leverage resources for positive impact. Improving the education and skills of our current workers is essential to our future workforce competitiveness. Nebraska faces a skills gap in the future and working families are a part of the solution. [DDET LB 1079 Testimony] My name is Kate… Read more →

Help Children Access the Food They Need to Learn & Grow

LB 1090 will help children access the food they need in the summertime to learn and grow.  Providing access to healthy, nutritious foods is important for children’s health.  The Summer Food Service Program provides federally funded meals to sites at nonprofit organizations, schools, and other locations to reach hungry children in the summer when free and reduced price meals are… Read more →

It’s That Time of Year…

The holidays are a time of year when our thoughts turn to people who are struggling in our communities.  It’s a time of year when we are not only thinking of the needs of our friends and neighbors, but also of the reasons behind their difficulties, and hoping for a year ahead with new possibilities and opportunities for family success.… Read more →

Huskers Fighting Hunger

Confronting Food Insecurity in Our Communities Keynote Speaker: Dr. Mariana Chilton, Center for Hunger-Free Communities FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC, STUDENTS, STAFF AND FACULTY November 16, 2011 5 PM—7:30 PM Henzlik Hall, Room 124, University of Nebraska-Lincoln city campus Millions of Americans experience hunger and food insecurity on a daily basis. Hunger has long-term impacts on child and human… Read more →

Step Up for Kids

Do the new census figures reflecting that one child in five in Nebraska struggles with poverty worry you? Have you followed recent child welfare system developments with concern? Do you think that access to prenatal care should be available to all who need it to protect the health of mothers and babies? The newspaper headlines in our state have been… Read more →

Five Facts You Should Know about the U.S. Census Bureau Poverty Data

Last week, the U.S. Census Bureau released new data about the economic well-being of our nation and our state.  Here are five facts you should know about poverty in Nebraska: More than one in five children (18.2%) in Nebraska experienced poverty in 2010.  This is 3% higher than 2009. Minorities in Nebraska experience poverty at a disproportionate rate compared to… Read more →

It’s a SNAP

Have you ever wondered about whether or not you or your clients qualify for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly Food Stamps)? Is your organization a Community Based Partner for ACCESS Nebraska, the new on-line public benefits application, and you are looking for tools and resources? If so, Nebraska Appleseed’s new Guide to Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Outreach in… Read more →

More Diplomas

I remember the feeling of satisfaction I had when I hammered a nail into the wall of my first “real” office and hung up my diploma – a feeling of satisfaction and pride. A feeling that my hard work had finally materialized into something concrete that I could hang on a wall. Across the state, hardworking Nebraska families have that… Read more →