Category: Economic Justice

RELEASE: Congress urged to protect Food Assistance for Nebraska veterans

***For Immediate Release*** November 8, 2018   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853, Ext. 119 Cell: (402) 840-7289 Email: jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Ahead of Veterans Day, Nebraska Advocates Urge Congress to Protect Food Assistance for Veterans Program helps nearly 1.4 million low-income veterans, including thousands in Nebraska   LINCOLN — As the nation prepares to observe Veterans… Read more →

RELEASE – State urged to increase outreach to seniors struggling with hunger

***For Immediate Release*** September 18, 2018   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 Email: jsheldon@neappleseed.org   State urged to increase outreach to seniors struggling with hunger Nebraska seniors who are eligible for food assistance participate in rates below the national average   LINCOLN — With Congress needing to pass the 2018 Farm Bill… Read more →

2018 Mid-Year Review – All the ways you’ve stood up for justice!

The actions you’ve taken in 2018 have renewed the fight for a more-just society, building a Nebraska where everyone can have the justice and opportunity they need to get ahead.   Health Care for Every Nebraskan You astounded us. Thousands of Nebraskans have contacted their elected officials, made office visits, signed petitions and taken other actions to protect access to… Read more →

National Survey Finds 12 Percent of Nebraska Households Struggle to Afford Food

***For Immediate Release*** August 1, 2018   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 Email: jsheldon@neappleseed.org   National Survey Finds 12 Percent of Nebraska Households Struggle to Afford Food New Data Underscores Need to Protect and Improve Federal Nutrition Programs   LINCOLN — In every part of the United States, a large number of… Read more →

RELEASE – SNAP cuts proposed in Farm Bill would hurt thousands of Nebraska families

***For Immediate Release*** June 21, 2018   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Cell: (402) 840-7289 Email: jsheldon@neappleseed.org   SNAP cuts in House Farm Bill will punish Nebraskans struggling with hunger Congressmen’s vote today will take food off the table for seniors, children, and those between jobs   LINCOLN — Today, the U.S. House of Representatives… Read more →

STATEMENT: Senate Farm bill reaffirms bipartisan commitment to food security

***For Immediate Release*** June 13, 2018   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed\ Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Senate Farm Bill reaffirms important, bipartisan commitment to food assistance Bill protects SNAP, Nebraska Senators urged to oppose harmful amendments that would increase hunger   LINCOLN — Wednesday, the Senate Agriculture Committee voted 20-1 to advance the Senate’s… Read more →

RELEASE – Summer Food sites ensure Nebraska kids don’t go hungry when school lets out

***For Immediate Release*** June 6, 2018 Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Summer Food sites ensure Nebraska kids don’t go hungry when school lets out Adequate meals in summer are essential to children’s health, learning retention   LINCOLN — Thousands of children in Nebraska are food insecure and struggle to get… Read more →

Why the new Farm Bill could harm Nebraskans struggling with hunger

Right now, Congress is considering the reauthorization of the Farm Bill. While the name may make one think of fields and agricultural equipment, the Farm Bill has a far-reaching impact on programs that ensure food security and fight poverty in the United States.   Farm Bill Background The Farm Bill is a broad piece of legislation that addresses most federal… Read more →

RELEASE – Nebraska organizations applaud passage of predatory lending reform bill

***For Immediate Release*** April 18, 2018   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Mobile: (402) 840-7289 Email: jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Nebraska organizations applaud passage of Predatory Lending Reform bill  Law will be small step forward to curb abusive lending, but future reforms are also needed   LINCOLN — Today Nebraska organizations applaud the Final Reading passage of payday lending reform… Read more →

Take Action: Stop food cuts in Farm Bill that would hurt vulnerable Nebraskans

Will you make a phone call today to protect the ability for tens of thousands of Nebraskans to put food on their table? Now is an important time for your Congressman to hear from you. Last week, the House Agriculture Committee proposed the 2018 Farm Bill, which put forward drastic cuts and harmful new restrictions to our country’s most-important food security program, the Supplemental… Read more →

RELEASE – SNAP cuts proposed in Farm Bill would hurt thousands of Nebraska families

***For Immediate Release*** April 12, 2018   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Cell: (402) 840-7289 Email: jsheldon@neappleseed.org   SNAP cuts proposed in draft Farm Bill would hurt thousands of Nebraska families New restrictions on food assistance will take meals off the table, plunge more Nebraskans into poverty   LINCOLN — The 2018 Farm Bill introduced today by the… Read more →

Schools can apply for Nutrition Equipment Grants to increase meal programs

Midwest Dairy is pleased to offer School Nutrition Equipment Grants. The on-line grant application will be open from April 1-30. The purpose of the grant is to assist School Nutrition Directors in the purchase of equipment that will enhance the long-term implementation of their school meal programs with a preference to increasing school breakfasts served outside the cafeteria and after-school suppers. Nebraska… Read more →

New Report: Tools available to help Nebraska Schools fight student hunger

***For Immediate Release*** March 8, 2018   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Mobile: (402) 840-7289 Email: jsheldon@neappleseed.org   New Report: Tools available to help Nebraska Schools fight student hunger Data shows Nebraska lags in national school breakfast rankings, but some schools finding success fighting classroom hunger with innovative strategies   LINCOLN — National data shows Nebraska falls behind… Read more →

Appleseed Statement on Congress’ tax shift bill

***For Immediate Release*** December 20, 2017   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 Email: jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Nebraska Appleseed Statement on Congress’ tax bill Bill endangers investments in health care, education, and other essential public systems   LINCOLN — Nebraska Appleseed Executive Director Rebecca Gould issued the following statement in response to Congress passing… Read more →

During Thanksgiving, NE organizations call for Congress not to weaken anti-hunger programs

***For Immediate Release*** November 20, 2017   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Cell: (402) 840-7289 Email: jsheldon@neappleseed.org   This Thanksgiving, Nebraska organizations urge strengthening of programs that fight hunger SNAP cuts would deepen poverty for Nebraska children, families   LINCOLN — With Nebraska’s food insecurity rate at nearly 12 percent, hundreds of thousands of Nebraska… Read more →

The Western Nebraska Better Breakfast Challenge Winners!

This is a guest post from Appleseed Health Care intern Suzie Cho.   During the month of October, Nebraska Appleseed, in partnership with Safeway and the Albertsons Companies Foundation, hosted the Western Nebraska Better Breakfast Challenge to help schools jumpstart their breakfast programs and improve participation. The Challenge saw 12 elementary schools in Gering, Hemingford, Mitchell, Morrill, Paxton, and Scottsbluff compete… Read more →

Tell Congress Stop cuts to Nebraska kids and working families

Things are moving fast in Congress, and we’re asking you to take action today to protect important investments that help Nebraska’s children and hard-working families meet their needs and get ahead. Just like your household budget reflects what you think is important to spend money on, our national budget shows what we as a country believe is important — our… Read more →

Nebraska advocacy groups applaud new payday lending reform rule

***For Immediate Release*** October 5, 2017   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Nebraska Appleseed Communications Director Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 Email: jsheldon@neappleseed.org   New rule a good first step to protect Nebraskans against predatory lending CFPB rule makes progress, but Legislature still must pass true reform to end exploitative lending   Today, a group of Nebraska advocacy organizations – Nebraska… Read more →

Jim Wolf Equal Justice Award – Julie Kalkowski

Nebraska Appleseed is proud to recognize advocates who have made outstanding contributions to the fight for justice and opportunity for all Nebraskans at the 2017 Good Apple Awards on October 19th in Omaha. The Jim Wolf Equal Justice Award recognizes a Nebraskan who has made significant contributions to justice for all throughout her career. The award is given in the… Read more →

Appleseed welcomes new organizer Felipe Blanco

In July, Appleseed was pleased to welcome our newest field organizer, Felipe Blanco. Felipe comes to Appleseed with a wealth of experience in public policy and will work in our Health Care and Economic Justice programs, connecting with people in communities all across the state on ways they can create positive change for themselves and their neighbors. “I am excited… Read more →

Nebraska organizations urge House members to protect anti-hunger programs

There are hundreds of thousands of Nebraska families that struggle with hunger, and food security programs are some of the most-effective ways to make sure that every Nebraskan – children, seniors, veterans, and other hard-working people – are able to get the food they need. Friday, a group of 10 Nebraska organizations sent a letter to Nebraska’s three House members… Read more →

Volunteer Spotlight – Meet Claudia Pech

Note: Part of fighting for positive change in our communities means getting to work with outstanding, like-minded volunteer partners who share our goal of expanding justice and opportunity in Nebraska. Periodically, we will feature individuals and organizations with whom we have been fortunate to work to build a brighter future in our state. This is a guest post by Appleseed… Read more →

Nebraska again lags in providing children meals in summer

Access to food is critical to the education and well-being of children in both Nebraska’s urban and rural communities. By using tools such as the summer foods programs to their maximum benefit, we can make sure our kids are healthy and hunger-free throughout the summer months. For some students from lower-income families, their school is sometimes the only place they… Read more →

2017 Nebraska Legislative Recap

The 2017 Nebraska Legislative Session came to an end last Tuesday, concluding a session that contained several setbacks for efforts to improve opportunities for hard-working, low-income families and children. Still, a few important advancements were made to improve access to justice and opportunity for more Nebraskans. Your support and hard work, combined with some outstanding leaders in the Legislature, helped… Read more →

STATEMENT: President’s budget proposal a harsh attack on Nebraska families

***For Immediate Release*** May 23, 2017   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Nebraska Appleseed Communications Director Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 Email: jsheldon@neappleseed.org   President’s budget proposal a harsh attack on Nebraska families Drastic cuts will harm low-income families, children, seniors, Nebraskans with disabilities   LINCOLN — Today, Nebraska Appleseed Executive Director Rebecca Gould issued the following statement on the President’s… Read more →

Legislative Update – April 24, 2017

It’s the week of budget debate. State Senators will begin debate on the Appropriations Committee’s recommended budget on Tuesday, and we’re urging the protection of important programs that help kids and hard-working families. No vote after debate on dangerous tax bill Friday morning, the Legislature spent three hours debating LB 461 but adjourned without taking a vote. This bill would… Read more →

RELEASE – Over 200 Nebraska schools qualify to feed all students using Community Eligibility

La versión en español está abajo.   ***For Immediate Release*** April 20, 2017   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 jsheldon@neappleseed.org   More than 200 Nebraska Schools Eligible for Community Eligibility Provision to Fight Hunger in the Classroom   LINCOLN — Many more Nebraska schools will be eligible to serve more students free… Read more →

Take Action – We can’t cripple Nebraska’s future

With a state budget shortfall of more than $1 billion, we have to look for every solution to protect Nebraska’s important public investments that make life better for everyone. Things like good schools, safe roads and highways, and programs that help hard-working families get ahead. But a dangerous tax plan will be up for debate on Friday in the Legislature… Read more →

Legislative Update – April 17, 2017

This is a huge week for bills that have long-term impacts on Nebraska’s ability to fund important investments. We’re asking you to take action to protect investments in education, child welfare, and other big priorities for hard-working Nebraska families. Protect investments in the Good Life Friday, the Legislature is expected to debate a dangerous plan that gives a large tax… Read more →

RELEASE – Schools vie to feed more students in Better Breakfast Challenge

For Immediate Release                           April 17, 2017   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed (402) 438-8853 (office) (402) 840-7289 (cell) jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Schools vie to feed more students in Better Breakfast Challenge Contest will award cash prizes to western Nebraska schools that improve breakfast participation   Elementary schools in more than a dozen communities in western Nebraska will have… Read more →

Introducing the Western Nebraska Better Breakfast Challenge

Nebraska Appleseed is proud to be working with the Safeway Foundation to increase participation in school breakfast programs in western Nebraska. Nebraska has one of the lowest school breakfast participation rates in the nation, and we are working with partners to make improvements and provide incentives that encourage more schools to provide students with a healthy breakfast. The Western Nebraska… Read more →

Major opportunities for Nebraska to increase school meals for students

Last week, the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) released its annual report on state participation in Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) nationwide. Nebraska rose in the rankings this year to 43rd out of 50 states and the District of Columbia (up from 47th in 2016) in eligible school districts taking up the option, but remained in 50th place for the… Read more →

RELEASE – New report reveals payday lenders’ history of non-compliance with state law

***For Immediate Release*** February 21, 2017   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 Email: jsheldon@neappleseed.org New report reveals history of non-compliance with state law by payday lenders With long record of violations, state must implement reforms for lenders   LINCOLN — A new report released today by Nebraska Appleseed reveals a history of… Read more →

Nebraska continues to rank near bottom of U.S. in School Breakfast

***For Immediate Release*** February 14, 2017 Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 Email: jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Nebraska continues to rank near bottom of U.S. in School Breakfast State’s low participation in school breakfast means poorer outcomes for students, missed federal funding Despite a slight increase in participation, Nebraska still ranks near the bottom of… Read more →

Take Action – Oppose damaging tax plan and protect “The Good Life”

Every time there is a shortfall in our state budget, investments in hard-working Nebraskans are often the first to be cut. Nebraska is facing a budget shortfall of more than $1 billion. Despite this challenge, Governor Ricketts and members of the Legislature are proposing a big income tax cut that won’t do anything for our state’s middle-class and low-income families,… Read more →

The Benefits of School Breakfast for Learning and Health

In Nebraska, more than 97,000 children are food insecure. Offering school breakfast that is healthy and easy is one way Nebraskans can prioritize the health and learning of kids. According to the Food Research and Action Center, children who miss breakfast have lower math scores, repeat grades more often, are more likely to be absent and tardy, and have more… Read more →

Legislative Update – January 23, 2017

Last week marked the final day of bill introduction in the 2017 Nebraska Legislative session. Several bills we consider top priorities were introduced, and we’ll be testifying at several committee hearings this week. Health coverage for hard-working Nebraskans Last week, Sen. Adam Morfeld introduced LB 441, a bill that would allow nearly 100,000 uninsured Nebraskans with low incomes to get… Read more →

RELEASE – New Report: Improving Student Protections in For-Profit Schools

***For Immediate Release*** January 23, 2017   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 Email: jsheldon@neappleseed.org   New Report: Improving Student Protections in For-Profit Schools Nebraska can model other states in holding for-profit colleges accountable to students   LINCOLN — Given the recent closures of several for-profit schools nationwide, now is the time to… Read more →

Legislative Update – January 9

On January 4, the 2017 Nebraska Legislature began its 90-day session. Over the next few months, State Senators will consider many bills that will affect justice and opportunity for all Nebraskans including quality health insurance, economic opportunity, food security, voting rights, and the state’s nearly $1 billion budget shortfall. Each week, we will let you know about movement on our… Read more →

New Report: Opportunity to improve job training for hard-working Nebraskans

***For Immediate Release*** December 22, 2016   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 Email: jsheldon@neappleseed.org   New Report: Nebraska can improve job training for hard-working people Opportunities to invest in skills training would help families get ahead, boost economy   LINCOLN — Helping hard-working families lift themselves out of poverty means making sure… Read more →

Breakfast after the Bell

Nebraska Appleseed helps offer technical assistance and financial support to eligible Nebraska schools that switch to breakfast in the classroom through the Partners for Breakfast in the Classroom initiative. See if your school is eligible. This blog is part of a series highlighting the benefits of breakfast in the classroom and its effects on student outcomes. It’s been proven again… Read more →

Join talks on creating an economic future for all Nebraskans

Our community partners – Community Action of Nebraska and Center for Rural Affairs –  would like to invite you talk about how to create an economic future for all Nebraskans and learn more about what’s at stake in the upcoming state Legislative session. Consider attending one of the upcoming community meetings:   Monday, December 12 o   6 – 7 pm, Scottsbluff, Gering Public Library  … Read more →

Partners for Breakfast In the Classroom helps schools feed students

Nebraska schools just got a powerful new resource to better offer a healthy school breakfast to the kids who need it most. The Partners for Breakfast in the Classroom (PBIC) program recently launched in Nebraska. This consortium of national and local partners, including Nebraska Appleseed, can offer technical assistance as well as financial support to let schools make sure their… Read more →

Standing up for justice

Every day when we come to work at Nebraska Appleseed, we walk through a door that reads “Stand Up For Justice.” It’s our daily reminder that Appleseed was created to fight against the largest, most-formidable forms of systemic injustice in our state. The big problems that keep our poorest neighbors poor and put barriers right in the middle of the… Read more →

Improved child care subsidies would strengthen support for working parents

Across the U.S., low-income families that receive child care subsidies are more likely to be employed, maintain work for longer periods of time and increase their annual earnings and financial resources. It’s a tool that has proven to be an enormous success to help families get ahead. Unfortunately, investment in child care subsidies has been lagging nationwide. Funding for child… Read more →

Nearly 16 percent of Nebraska families with children face hunger

This week, the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) released its national analysis of food hardship in the U.S. in a report titled “Food Hardship in America: Households with Children Especially Hard Hit.” The analysis, which used research from the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being survey, contains both national and state-level data on hunger. According to the survey, 15.9 percent of Nebraska households… Read more →

RELEASE – Census shows over 12 percent of Nebraskans in Poverty

***For Immediate Release*** September 15, 2016   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 Email: jsheldon@neappleseed.org   New data: Over 12 percent of Nebraskans still live in poverty   Census shows high rates of poverty for children, minority populations   LINCOLN — The percentage of Nebraskans living in poverty was not sharply reduced in 2015… Read more →

Roots of Appleseed – Eric Hallstrom

Throughout our 20th Anniversary year in 2016, we are taking a look back at the influential people who helped Nebraska Appleseed grow into the advocacy organization we are today. These “Roots of Appleseed” helped shape our mission of fighting for justice and opportunity for all Nebraskans. Read our prior entries in the Roots of Appleseed series: Milo Mumgaard Gretchen Obrist… Read more →

Appleseed In Action – September 2016

News and Events from Nebraska Appleseed – September 2016   Join us for the 2016 Good Apple Awards! Join us on Thursday, October 13, for the 2016 Good Apple Awards to honor folks who have made outstanding contributions to justice and opportunity for all in Nebraska! Livestock Exchange Building Ballroom 4920 S 30th St, Omaha, NE 6pm-8pm Click here to… Read more →

Appleseed welcomes Weitz Fellow Eleanor Dollear

Appleseed is proud to welcome Eleanor Dollear as Appleseed’s Weitz Fellow for 2016-17. Eleanor will work with our Economic Justice & Health Care Access programs. The fellowship is supported by the Weitz Family Foundation of Omaha and places recent Carleton College graduates with non-profits in Lincoln and Omaha for one-year fellowships. Eleanor is originally from Chicago and graduated from Carleton… Read more →

Column: Let’s fix the path out of poverty

Today’s Omaha World-Herald features a column from our Executive Director Becky Gould on the 20th anniversary of a big change Congress made to the way the U.S. fights poverty for our country’s poorest working families with children. Starting in 1996, the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) restructured one of the country’s most important public assistance programs. This anniversary, Becky writes, is… Read more →

RELEASE – Schools encouraged to fight classroom hunger with Community Eligibility as students return

Schools encouraged to fight classroom hunger with Community Eligibility as students return Hunger advocates urge eligible schools to ensure all students are getting healthy meals As Nebraska children head back to school this month, hunger advocates urged eligible Nebraska schools to begin using a proven tool to ensure students are getting the healthy meals they need to learn and grow.… Read more →

Report: More Nebraska children facing hunger in Summer

***For Immediate Release*** June 21, 2016   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Nebraska falls to 46th nationally in summer meals participation As number of summer food sites drop, more Nebraska children face hunger   LINCOLN — Nebraska fell in the national rankings when it comes to ensuring children from low-income… Read more →

Over 100 Nebraska schools eligible for effective tool to feed students in 2016-17

***For Immediate Release*** April 28, 2016   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 jsheldon@neappleseed.org More than 100 Nebraska Schools Eligible for Community Eligibility Provision to Fight Hunger in the Classroom   LINCOLN — Recently, the Nebraska Department of Education released information showing 104 schools in Nebraska will be eligible to serve more free… Read more →

Recap of 2016 Nebraska Legislative Session

The 2016 Nebraska Legislative session ended with a flourish last week with two of Appleseed’s priority bills passing into law! It was a great end to the session. However, while there were some important policies advanced at the State Capitol, this session largely will be remembered as a session of missed opportunities to remove barriers for hard-working Nebraska families. Let’s… Read more →

New report shows Nebraska lagging nationally in helping kids get meals at school

***For Immediate Release*** April 7, 2016   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 jsheldon@neappleseed.org   New report shows Nebraska lagging nationally in helping kids get meals at school Nebraska ranked nearly last in using Community Eligibility Provision   Despite a significant nationwide increase in the number of high-poverty schools helping feed students with… Read more →

Roots of Appleseed – Milo Mumgaard

Note: Throughout our 20th Anniversary year in 2016, we will be taking a look back at the influential people who helped Nebraska Appleseed grow into the advocacy organization we are today. These “Roots of Appleseed” helped shape our mission of fighting for justice and opportunity for all Nebraskans.   The roots of Nebraska Appleseed were first planted in an unlikely… Read more →

RELEASE – Settlement agreement reached in class-action food assistance lawsuit

***For Immediate Release*** March 4, 2016   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 jsheldon@neappleseed.org Russ Reno Public Information Officer, DHHS Office: (402) 471-8287 Russ.Reno@nebraska.gov Proposed settlement will help Nebraska families eligible for food assistance Agreement would end lawsuit regarding delays in administering SNAP   LINCOLN — An agreement recently was reached between the Nebraska… Read more →

Nebraska ranked nearly last in School Breakfast participation

  ***For Immediate Release*** February 17, 2016   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 Email: jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Nebraska ranked nearly last in U.S. in School Breakfast Participation State scores 49th in helping qualified kids start the day with a healthy meal at school   LINCOLN — Nebraska ranked nearly last in the country… Read more →

Nebraskans celebrate introduction of new Transitional Health Insurance Program

Plan would return Nebraska tax dollars to the state for private health coverage for 77,000 uninsured Nebraskans Today, a bipartisan group of State Senators unveiled a new health coverage bill that would create a pathway to affordable health coverage desperately needed by 77,000 uninsured Nebraskans who currently cannot afford insurance. The plan, called the “Transitional Health Insurance Program,” or T-HIP,… Read more →

Weatherization assistance program keeps low-income families warm this winter

For most Nebraskans, winter weather is an accustomed inconvenience.  But for Nebraskans with low incomes, cold temperatures can be financially devastating and physically hazardous. In 2006, Appleseed supported the creation of the “Cold Weather Rule” in Nebraska.  According to this rule, low-income Nebraskans cannot have their natural gas shut off between November 1 and March 31 of any given year,… Read more →

New report calls for study of Nebraska’s for-profit Colleges

For Immediate Release                           December 28, 2015   Contact, James Goddard Economic Justice Director, Nebraska Appleseed (402) 570-9462 (cell) jgoddard@neappleseed.org   New report calls for study of Nebraska’s for-profit colleges High student debt, default rates, and limited performance measures warrant Legislative inquiry   LINCOLN — A new report released today by Nebraska Appleseed reveals concerning outcomes for Nebraska’s for-profit colleges… Read more →

Education under ADC is a proven success

Education is the clearest pathway out of poverty. And in Nebraska, we have emphasized the importance of education in our Aid to Dependent Children (ADC) program. ADC is Nebraska’s cash assistance program for low-income families with children. Most people who participate in the ADC program must engage in a work activity every week. Under Nebraska’s ADC program, participants can choose… Read more →

Investing in Adult Education essential for future economy

The jobs of the future will require Nebraska’s workforce to have training and education beyond the high school level. By 2018, 64 percent of the available jobs in Nebraska will require a post-secondary education. Yet, nearly 10 percent of all Nebraskans ages 18 to 64 lack a high school degree or an equivalent and almost 25 percent of Nebraskans age… Read more →

RELEASE – New report recommends increasing access to education programs in Nebraska prisons

For Immediate Release                           December 2, 2015   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed (402) 438-8853 (office) (402) 840-7289 (cell) jsheldon@neappleseed.org   New report recommends increasing access to education programs in Nebraska prisons Increased access to education will reduce recidivism, lead to new job opportunities after incarceration   LINCOLN — Education is essential not just for the individual who… Read more →

RELEASE – Census shows over 12 percent of Nebraskans in Poverty in 2014

***For Immediate Release*** September 17, 2015   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 Email: jsheldon@neappleseed.org   New data: Over 227,000 Nebraskans lived in Poverty in 2014 Census shows poverty has not sharply fallen despite nation’s lowest unemployment rate   LINCOLN — The percentage of Nebraskans living in poverty was slightly reduced in 2014 versus… Read more →

Meet Kait Madsen – Appleseed’s new Field Organizer

When Kait Madsen was looking for ways to get involved on her college campus during her first year at Loyola University in Chicago, she knew she wanted to help others find solutions to problems in their communities. “I’ve always been interested in human rights and making a difference,” she said. That interest sparked a passion for organizing, and led Kait… Read more →

Appleseed welcomes new Weitz fellow Tori Ostenso

Appleseed is very pleased to welcome Tori Ostenso as Appleseed’s Weitz Fellow working with our Economic Justice & Health Care Access programs. The fellowship is supported by the Weitz Family Foundation of Omaha and places recent Carleton College graduates with non-profits in Lincoln and Omaha for one-year fellowships. At Appleseed, Tori will be doing important work to fight poverty, increase… Read more →

News and Events from Nebraska Appleseed – September 2015

In this September edition of “Appleseed in Action”: Tell Congress to fight child hunger Many Nebraska families report facing food hardship Newspaper series highlights need to expand Medicaid Local leaders attend grassroots leadership workshop Tickets now available for the 2015 Good Apple Awards Meet our 2015 Summer Law Clerks and Interns Tell Congress to reauthorize funding for child nutrition programs… Read more →

New Aid to Dependent Children changes go into effect today

This June, the Nebraska Legislature increased the payment rate for Nebraska’s Aid to Dependent Children (ADC) program for the first time in nearly 30 years by passing LB 607. ADC is the state’s welfare-to-work program that includes cash assistance and employment activities for low-income families with children. This increased payment rate goes into effect today, and Appleseed has created this… Read more →

Educators see big benefits with Community Eligibility

The new Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) allows eligible schools in districts with a high percentage of low-income families to receive funding to pay for free, healthy meals for all students regardless of the income of the students’ families. Appleseed recently spoke with two principals of Omaha elementary schools about their success with CEP — Stephanie Black, Principal at Martin Luther… Read more →

PRESS RELEASE – Nearly 12 percent of Nebraska families facing food hardship

***For Immediate Release*** August 21, 2015 Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 Email: jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Number of Nebraska families facing food hardship remains steady in 2015 Hunger data shows slight improvement, but too many Nebraskans still struggle to eat LINCOLN — New data released Thursday from the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC)… Read more →

News and Events from Nebraska Appleseed – August 2015

In this August edition of “Appleseed in Action”: Celebrating Medicaid’s 50th birthday Improving access to children’s behavioral health treatment New Americans share their stories at World Refugee Day Introducing 2015 Good Apple Awards honorees Appleseed is hiring Fall interns Meet our 2015 Summer Law Clerks and Interns Celebrating Medicaid on its 50th Birthday One of the cornerstones of our American… Read more →

2015 Appleseed Law Clerks and Interns – Meet John Beutler

Note: Each year, Nebraska Appleseed is fortunate to work with a number of bright, talented law clerks and interns. This is one of a series of posts that feature Appleseed’s clerks and interns discussing their backgrounds and experiences. Economic Justice law clerk John Beutler is a critical advocate for justice, both on and off the sand volleyball court. Born and… Read more →

News and Events from Nebraska Appleseed – July 2015

In this July edition of “Appleseed in Action”:   Supreme Court upholds health coverage in King v. Burwell Legal victory to protect children’s rights to behavioral health treatments Tell Congress to support Child Nutrition bills Save the date for the 2015 Good Apple Awards Capitol Rally to Close the Coverage Gap Urban Abbey Events Meet our 2015 Clerks and Interns… Read more →

RELEASE – Final passage of bills will help DREAMers, foster youth, and working families

***For Immediate Release*** May 21, 2015   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Appleseed praises Legislative votes on Final Reading Friday Bills passing final vote will improve lives of Nebraska DREAMers, children, and working families   LINCOLN — Today, Nebraska Appleseed issued the following statements on bills that were passed on… Read more →

ConAgra Foods Foundation honors six OPS schools with Hunger Free Schools Award

Award recognizes schools, school board members, administrators who have fought child hunger in Omaha OMAHA — Thursday morning, ConAgra Foods Foundation, in partnership with community organizations that fight hunger and advocate for youth, recognized work to fight childhood hunger in Omaha schools by presenting six OPS schools with the Hunger Free School Award. At a celebratory breakfast meeting hosted at… Read more →

STATEMENT – Legislature made right choice for hard-working young Nebraskans by voting down LB 599

***For Immediate Release*** May 15, 2015 Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Appleseed Statement on Legislature’s vote on LB 599 Voting down bill is right choice for hard-working young Nebraskans   LINCOLN — Friday, Nebraska Appleseed Executive Director Rebecca Gould released the following statement on the Legislature’s vote not to pass… Read more →

Legislative Update – May 11, 2015

With only 13 days left in the 2015 Nebraska Legislative session, time is winding down. Here’s your weekly Legislative Update.   Compromise reached on bill to increase aid to working families It appears Nebraska’s poorest working families may get a measure of help via a compromise announced May 5 to slightly increase payments in the Aid to Dependent Children (ADC)… Read more →

STATEMENT – Compromise a first step toward stability for Nebraska’s poorest families

***For Immediate Release*** May 5, 2015   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 jsheldon@neappleseed.org Appleseed Statement on working families aid funding Compromise is first step to increase stability for working, low-income families   LINCOLN — Today, Nebraska Appleseed Executive Director Rebecca Gould issued the following statement on the announced compromise reached on adding aspects… Read more →

Legislative Update – May 4, 2015

Last week was quite the week at the State Capitol. The Legislature gave first-round approval to the state budget and debated several of Appleseed’s priority bills.   Governor vetoes bill that fights poverty for hard-working families On Thursday, April 29, Governor Ricketts vetoed LB 89, a bill that fights poverty for Nebraska’s poorest families. LB 89, which passed Final Reading… Read more →

RELEASE – Over 100 Nebraska schools eligible to fight classroom hunger with new tool

***For Immediate Release*** May 1, 2015   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 jsheldon@neappleseed.org More than 100 Nebraska Schools Eligible for New Tool to Reduce Hunger in the Classroom   LINCOLN — Today, the Nebraska Department of Education announced 111 schools in Nebraska will be eligible to serve more free meals to students using… Read more →

STATEMENT – Governor’s veto of LB 89 harms poorest Nebraska children and families

***For Immediate Release*** April 29, 2015   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Appleseed Statement on Governor’s Veto of LB 89 Governor’s uses first veto to harm state’s poorest Children and Families   LINCOLN — Tonight, Nebraska Appleseed Executive Director Rebecca Gould issued the following statement regarding the Governor’s veto of LB… Read more →

Legislative Update – April 27, 2015

Several of Appleseed’s priority bills to help hard-working families and protect Nebraska children received great votes in the Legislature last week! Here is our legislative roundup from last week and what lies ahead this week.   Working Families bill passes Final Reading LB 89 – This bill to raise the payment rate for the Aid to Dependent Children (ADC) benefit… Read more →

RELEASE – Appleseed praises passage of LB 89

***For Immediate Release*** April 23, 2015   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 jsheldon@neappleseed.org     Appleseed Statement on passage of LB 89 Legislature’s vote will strengthen Nebraska’s working families   LINCOLN — Today, Nebraska Appleseed Executive Director Becky Gould issued the following statement in support of the Legislature’s vote to pass LB… Read more →

Take Action – Protect minimum wage for hard-working Nebraska students

Last fall, Nebraskans overwhelmingly voted to raise our state’s minimum wage to $9 per hour, but a new bill in the Legislature would strip that fair wage from hard-working young Nebraskans. LB 599 would allow employers to pay high school student workers less than other employees, which is in direct contrast to what Nebraskans voted for last November. The bill… Read more →

Legislative Update – April 20, 2015

Two bills to help working families advanced to Final Reading last week, highlighting a busy week in the Legislature. Here is your Legislative Update for the week of April 20. Working families bills pass Select File It was a good start to last week when two bills to help hard-working families moved to Final Reading on Monday, April 13. LB… Read more →

Press Release: New report shows 12 percent of Nebraskans face hunger

***For Immediate Release*** April 7, 2015 Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 Email: jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Survey Finds 12 Percent of Nebraska Households Struggle to Afford Food New Data Underscores Need to Protect and Improve Federal Nutrition Programs   LINCOLN – One in 8 people – 12.8 percent of respondents – in Nebraska reported… Read more →

Action Alert – Tell Congress to fund the Children’s Health Insurance Program

Today, ask our U.S. Representatives to make children’s health care a priority by supporting the bipartisan legislation in the House of Representatives to extend funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). On Thursday, Congress will vote to extend funding for CHIP, a program that provides health coverage for over 55,000 Nebraska children. We’re asking you to act TODAY. Contact… Read more →

New report shows Minority working families in Nebraska are falling behind

***For Immediate Release*** March 16, 2015 Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 jsheldon@neappleseed.org Report: Minority Working Families in Nebraska falling behind Latino Immigrants at Greatest Risk; Study Concludes State Can Address the Problem LINCOLN – A new study concludes that a sharp racial and ethnic divide has emerged within the world of low-income… Read more →

Workers’ compensation cuts are putting injured workers into poverty

Last Wednesday, ProPublica and NPR launched a detailed and extensive series on the troubling trend of states reducing workers’ compensation benefits over the past 10 years. These reductions – drastic in some states – have left workers who were injured on the job without support for medical treatment and recovery to get back to work. In fact, the report states… Read more →

New Report shows increased workforce need for Adult Basic Education

Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Report: More investment in Adult Basic Education would improve Nebraska workforce Hard-working Nebraskans need more skills to compete in changing economy   LINCOLN — A new report released Monday shows Nebraska’s need to invest more in Adult Basic Education (ABE). The report, “Adult Education in… Read more →

RELEASE: Nebraska lags nationally in providing School Breakfast

***For Immediate Release*** February 13, 2015 Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 Email: jsheldon@neappleseed.org Report: Nebraska Lags Nationally in providing School Breakfast This week, the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) released its School Breakfast Scorecard, an annual report that analyzes each state’s participation in the School Breakfast Program. The report reveals Nebraska… Read more →

Appleseed statement on working families support bill LB 89

***For Immediate Release*** February 6, 2015   Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Nebraska Appleseed statement on LB 89 heard by HHS Committee Friday Bill would help Nebraska families to stay together while rewarding hard work   Friday, Nebraska Appleseed Executive Director Rebecca Gould issued the following statement in support of… Read more →

Legislative Update

This is your weekly Nebraska Legislature update. Committee Hearings last week Appleseed testified on several bills during Legislature committee hearings last week. LB 12 – A bill to streamline the Medicaid process for eligible Nebraskans who enter and leave the criminal justice system. This bill will improve health care access while saving costs in the corrections system. Appleseed testified in… Read more →

Appleseed statement on Governor’s 2015 State of the State Address

LINCOLN — Today, Nebraska Appleseed Executive Director Becky Gould issued the following statement in response to the Governor’s State of the State Address. “We couldn’t agree more with Governor Ricketts when he said Nebraska’s greatest resource is our people, and we echo his spirit of collaboration that we can make a stronger, better state when we work together,” Gould said.… Read more →

Being Poor is Getting Scarier in the U.S.

New research by two California economists recently highlighted that the United States is doing significantly worse now to protect low-income families from falling into deep poverty than in previous recessions. The research, cited in a new story from Bloomberg View, “Being Poor Is Getting Scarier in the U.S.,” shows the most recent recession that began in 2008 increased the number… Read more →

Justice for families facing hunger

When kids and families experience tough times the last thing they need is uncertainty about where they will find their next meal. Yet approximately 30 percent of all Nebraska households applying for food assistance needlessly wait longer than a month for approval for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Because of the State of Nebraska’s troubled ACCESS Nebraska benefit processing… Read more →

RELEASE – New report offers recommendations for family and workforce stability

For Immediate Release Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 Email: jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Appleseed report offers solutions to increase stability for families and workforce Despite high workforce participation, many Nebraska families struggle to meet basic needs LINCOLN — Strong, productive workers and families are the backbone of Nebraska’s communities and our economy. Unfortunately, many… Read more →

GoodHire program to help Nebraskans get meaningful work experience

Appleseed very enthusiastically supported a bill during the 2013 Nebraska Legislature session that created a pilot program to encourage Nebraska businesses to hire new employees and grow the state’s economy through wage subsidies. The bill, LB 368, introduced by State Senator Sue Crawford, was a win-win both for businesses looking to grow and hard-working Nebraskans who needed a chance to… Read more →

You’re Invited – Panel discussion on Paid Family Leave

With the changing nature of the workforce, it’s getting more and more challenging to balance the demands of the jobs we need and the families we love. States around the country are starting to establish policies that promote more family-friendly workplaces, and both businesses and families are seeing the benefits. Please join us for a discussion featuring national expert Ellen… Read more →

Appleseed welcomes Eric Savaiano to Economic Justice and Health Care programs

October 1st, Appleseed was proud to welcome the newest member of our team when Eric Savaiano joined us as a Program Associate with our Health Care and Economic Justice programs. Eric comes to us from Nashville, Tenn., where he previously worked at an educational nonprofit called the PENCIL Foundation as a Family Resource Center Director at a large, diverse, public… Read more →

Nebraskans in poverty, and the solutions that can help

Last week, TalkPoverty.org released their state-by-state analysis of 2013 poverty data compiled last month by the U.S. Census. Using a variety of measures, the interactive analysis provides an in-depth look at how poverty impacts various communities across the United States, including each congressional district in Nebraska. Click here to find Nebraska’s poverty data. One of the most alarming statistics was… Read more →

SNAP error rates continue to be at record lows

Error rates in food assistance programs nationwide continue to be at record lows according to an analysis from Stateline (a project of Pew Charitable Trusts). This impressive accuracy comes even as the number of Americans enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) grew during the Great Recession, which began in 2007. Stateline’s study credited the reduction in error rate… Read more →

There are many faces of hunger in Nebraska

A new study released this week highlighted the often-overlooked fact that food insecurity is a problem faced by hundreds of thousands of our friends and neighbors here in Nebraska. The study, Hunger In America 2014, was produced by Feeding America, an anti-hunger organization that operates a nationwide series of food banks. It examines the number and demographics of people who… Read more →

RELEASE – Lawsuit alleges Nebraska DHHS unlawfully delaying food assistance

***For Immediate Release*** Contact, Jeff Sheldon Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 Email: jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Class-Action Lawsuit Filed on Behalf of Nebraskans Eligible for Food Assistance Suit claims Nebraska DHHS unlawfully delays SNAP beyond legal time frames LINCOLN — Today, Nebraska Appleseed and the National Center for Law and Economic Justice filed a class-action lawsuit on behalf of… Read more →

2014 Appleseed Interns and Law Clerks – Meet Haley Mead

Note: Each year, Nebraska Appleseed is fortunate to work with a number of bright, talented law clerks and interns. This is one of a series of posts that feature Appleseed’s clerks and interns discussing their backgrounds and experiences. As befits all good fairy tales, for Nebraska Appleseed intern Haley Mead it started with a pair of shoes. “I’ve always been… Read more →

2014 Appleseed Interns and Law Clerks – Meet Leigh Ellis

Note: Each year, Nebraska Appleseed is fortunate to work with a number of bright, talented law clerks and interns. This is one of a series of posts that feature Appleseed’s clerks and interns discussing their backgrounds and experiences. Nebraska Appleseed law clerk Leigh Ellis has always aspired to fight for social justice. Whether it was working at a grassroots organization… Read more →

2014 Appleseed Interns and Law Clerks – Meet Andrew Schill

Note: Each year, Nebraska Appleseed is fortunate to work with a number of bright, talented law clerks and interns. This is one of a series of posts that feature Appleseed’s clerks and interns discussing their backgrounds and experiences. “Change comes slowly, but with purpose. The issues of poverty, education, social justice, these are all enormous issues that need to be… Read more →

2014 Appleseed Interns and Law Clerks – Meet Christina Guthmann

Note: Each year, Nebraska Appleseed is fortunate to work with a number of bright, talented law clerks and interns. This is one of a series of posts that feature Appleseed’s clerks and interns discussing their backgrounds and experiences. Business opens doors. Whether it’s investing in small businesses here in the U.S. or overseas, investing in people is what drives Nebraska Appleseed… Read more →

Supporters gather 135,000 signatures to put minimum wage on fall ballot

Measure to raise Minimum Wage to be voted on this fall pending signature verification On July 3, the good news didn’t come in small packages, but in stacks and stacks of large boxes, piled high in the rotunda of the State Capitol. The boxes contained petitions signed by nearly 135,000 Nebraskans from every corner of our state in support of… Read more →

Pursuing The American Dream

Freedom, opportunity are hard-won concepts.  You can help protect them for all. Each Fourth of July provides us with the opportunity to celebrate a uniquely American holiday. With family, friends, food, and fireworks, we raise up the strengths and ideals that create our American identity.  We are a country built on the premise of freedom and opportunity, justice, hard work,… Read more →

2014 Appleseed Interns and Law Clerks – Meet Conner Kozisek

  Note: Each year, Nebraska Appleseed is fortunate to work with a number of bright, talented law clerks and interns. This is one of a series of posts that feature Appleseed’s clerks and interns discussing their backgrounds and experiences. Nebraska Appleseed intern Conner Kozisek, already had a good idea about his future plans from the time he was in Kindergarten.… Read more →

Farmers’ markets a new option for nutritious, local food for low-income families

In Nebraska, 14 farmers’ markets now accept payment in the form of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits (formerly called ‘food stamps’).  This increases low-income families’ access to fresh produce, locally-sourced dairy products, and even seeds and plants that produce food. This option also benefits local farmers, because the equipment needed to process SNAP Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards also allows… Read more →

Petitioners find statewide support for raising the minimum wage

NOTE: This is guest post from Appleseed intern Christina Guthmann, who has volunteered to gather petition signatures for the ballot initiative to raise the minimum wage. Over the past few weeks, I’ve had the privilege of working on the minimum wage ballot initiative with Appleseed. My first day on the job, I was trained on circulating by a state senator.… Read more →

Report: Fewer Nebraska kids being fed in summer

For Immediate Release June 2, 2014 Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 jsheldon@neappleseed.org Nebraska Participation Drops in Summer Food Program Fewer Nebraska kids served summer meals in 2013 LINCOLN — Participation in the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) dropped in Nebraska in 2013 according to a nationwide survey released today. This means more… Read more →

RELEASE – More Nebraska schools can offer meals to hungry kids

***For Immediate Release*** May 1, 2014 Contact, Jeff Sheldon Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed Office: (402) 438-8853 Mobile: (402) 840-7289 jsheldon@neappleseed.org   Nearly 100 Nebraska Schools Eligible to Participate in Free School Meals Today, the Nebraska Department of Education announced 94 schools in Nebraska will be eligible to serve more free meals to students using a powerful new tool known as… Read more →

The Growing Wage Gap is a Growing Problem in Nebraska

Earlier this month, Nebraska was near the top of the national rankings in a dubious statistic. According to the AFL-CIO’s 2014 Executive PayWatch website a CEO of a Nebraska company was paid, on average, 170 times more than an average worker and an astounding 421 times that of someone making the state’s minimum wage. That is the highest disparity of any state in the country except… Read more →

Minimum wage increase may go on the ballot this fall

A bill to raise Nebraska’s minimum wage to $9 per hour (LB 943) failed to pass in the Legislature this session, but its introducer, State Sen. Jeremy Nordquist, is hoping to take the issue straight to Nebraska voters. Yesterday, Sen. Nordquist told the Omaha World-Herald he is attempting to gather signatures for a ballot initiative to raise Nebraska’s minimum wage… Read more →

Rally to support opportunities for Nebraska’s hardworking families

On Tuesday, the Nebraska Legislature voted down LB 943, a bill that would have raised Nebraska’s minimum wage to $9 per hour for hourly employees and increased the minimum wage for workers who earn tips to 70 percent of that standard minimum wage.  Introduced by Sen. Nordquist, with the tipped minimum wage amendment from Sen. Lathrop, the bill received 20… Read more →

Minimum wage bill gets priority designation

A bill to raise Nebraska’s minimum wage to $9 per hour received a priority designation Thursday when its introducer, State senator Jeremy Nordquist, designated LB 943 his priority bill for this Legislative session. Appleseed is a strong supporter of this bill, which would help more hard-working Nebraskans make ends meet and be a step toward rebuilding our middle class. Read… Read more →

New report shows more working mothers in Nebraska make low incomes

More than 26,000 low-income families in Nebraska are headed by working mothers according to the new report, “Low-Income Working Mothers and State Policy: Investing for a Better Economic Future.” The report, which was released today by the Working Poor Families Project and utilizes the latest data from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, finds that Nebraska ranks 15th in the… Read more →

Nebraska Appleseed Statement on LB 943 to increase the state minimum wage

Today, Nebraska Appleseed Executive Director Rebecca Gould release the following statement about LB 943, which was heard Monday by the Legislature’s Business and Labor Committee. “Hard work is a core value in Nebraska. Our state boasts one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country and one of the highest rates of parents participating in the workforce. But our economy… Read more →

LB 943, LB 955, LB 956 are common-sense policies that make sure hard work pays

Today, Nebraska Appleseed Executive Director Rebecca Gould released the following statement on LB 943, LB 955, and LB 956, which were introduced in the Legislature and are aimed at protecting Nebraska’s working families. “Hard work is one of Nebraska’s foundational values, however, the economy has changed and left too many hard-working Nebraska families behind. LB 943, LB 955, and LB… Read more →

ACCESS Nebraska Working Group issues Statement of Principles to guide reforms of troubled system

For Immediate Release December 19, 2013 LINCOLN —  Today, the ACCESS Nebraska Working Group, a collection of advocates, community partners, and stakeholders, issued a statement of principles to be used as a guide to improve the troubled ACCESS Nebraska system. Yesterday, the Legislative Performance Audit Office released findings that highlighted severe flaws in the ACCESS Nebraska system. This statement of… Read more →

Documentary “American Winter” shows strain poverty puts on U.S. families

The true face of poverty and its damaging effects on real American families is on display in the eye-opening documentary “American Winter,” which tells the stories of several families in the Portland, Oregon, area as they deal with job losses, mounting bills, losing their homes, and the toll these challenges can take on a family. A synopsis from the film’s… Read more →

Sign online petition supporting responsible tax system in Nebraska

The Nebraska Tax Modernization Committee has finished up its series of public hearings and is now meeting to come up with recommendations for the future of our state’s tax system. We have one more way we would like our state senators to hear from you. Please consider signing this online petition started by Rebuild Nebraska telling our senators you believe… Read more →

November 1 reduction in SNAP funding is about to hurt Nebraska families

At the end of this week, thousands of Nebraska families who receive food assistance will face even more uncertainty because of a nationwide reduction in payments from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. On November 1, there will be a nationwide reduction in payments from SNAP, formerly called ‘food stamps’, which helps about 180,000 Nebraskans – or 10 percent of our… Read more →

“Valiant Voices” exhibit shows true stories of poverty and perseverance in Omaha

Since May, Appleseed has been partnering with Heart Ministry Center and a group of Omaha women who are fighting to break the cycle of generational poverty.  A grant from the Women’s Fund of Omaha allowed us to provide these women with digital cameras to document the challenges they face on a daily basis. The result is a moving and enlightening… Read more →

You’re Invited! Valiant Voices: Portraits of Strength

Ever wonder what barriers Omaha women face in breaking the cycle of generational poverty? Please join us for the opening of Valiant Voices: Portraits of Strength, Friday, October 25th at 12:00 p.m., at the First Floor Rotunda of the Capitol. This photo project, supported by the Women’s Fund of Omaha and in partnership with the Heart Ministry Center, showcases the… Read more →

“Valiant Voices: Portraits of Strength” opens tonight in Omaha

Tonight, you’re invited for a first look at the new exhibit “Valiant Voices: Portraits of Strength” at the First Friday art walk in Omaha’s historic Benson neighborhood. “Valiant Voices” is a special photo project that cuts through the clutter and stereotypes of what you think you might know about what it means to live an everyday struggle with poverty. This… Read more →

Government shutdown could have consequences for Nebraska families with low incomes

As you likely know by now, Congress has not been able to come to an agreement to continue to fund many activities and programs.  That means on Tuesday, the federal government was shut down. Although many public benefits programs will be able to keep operating because they currently are able to access funding from the prior year, an extended shutdown… Read more →

Nebraska Appleseed statement opposing damaging House bill to cut SNAP

Nebraska Appleseed Statement on Passage of House “Nutrition Reform and Work Opportunity Act” LINCOLN — Today, Nebraska Appleseed Executive Director Rebecca Gould released the following statement on the House of Representatives’ “Nutrition Reform and Work Opportunity Act,” (H.R. 3102) passed by the House on Thursday. “SNAP helps Nebraskans feed their families when they face hard times. The bill approved in… Read more →

Take Action: Oppose dangerous House proposal to slash food assistance

No Nebraskan should have to go hungry.  But, this week the House of Representatives will introduce a bill that would slash $40 billion from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps), which helps nearly 180,000 people in Nebraska – a large proportion of them children – get enough to eat. We are urging you to call your congressman… Read more →

Take Action – Add your voice to Nebraska tax discussion

Our state’s tax system affects every Nebraska family, and changes in tax policy can have big implications especially to families that make low incomes. To make sure our tax system is fair for our state’s lowest-earning families, Appleseed is keeping a close eye on the discussion about possible changes to Nebraska’s tax system made by the Legislature’s Tax Modernization Committee.… Read more →

Details emerge about dangerous House proposal to drastically cut food assistance

Last week, we told you about newly released data that shows 1 in 7 Nebraska households struggle with hunger, while at the same time, the House of Representatives will introduce a bill this month that will slash $40 billion from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which helps thousands of working families and children in Nebraska get enough to eat.… Read more →

New USDA data show 1 in 7 Nebraska households struggle with hunger

According to new data released Wednesday, 1 in 7 Nebraska households struggle against hunger. The statistics, compiled by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Economic Research Service, show 13.4 percent of Nebraska households struggled with hunger on average in the years 2010-2012 according to the USDA’s annual report on food insecurity. More than 48.9 million Americans lived in households that… Read more →

House bill expected to propose damaging SNAP cuts, will harm Nebraska families

Hunger impacts many of our friends and neighbors here in Nebraska. According to the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, 13.3 percent of households in our state are food insecure. This population includes working families, children, senior citizens, disabled individuals, and even low-income veterans. Thankfully, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) provides a vital support for 180,000 Nebraskans struggling to… Read more →

More ADC participants can now use Education Activities to meet Work Requirements

Last week, Nebraska took a major step forward in supporting the educational needs of adults making low incomes. With LB 240 now in effect, all parents in the Aid to Dependent Children (ADC) Program can meet their full work requirement by participating in GED, English as a Second Language, or Adult Basic Education programs. In the past, restrictions around age… Read more →

New Study: Risky tax plan likely would raise taxes for most Nebraskans

Today, OpenSky Policy Institute, a nonpartisan Nebraska organization dedicated to fiscal research and analysis, released results of a new study on what a large cut in the state’s income tax could mean for our state’s economy. The results indicate Nebraska would send a large chunk of revenue out of state if it implemented a risky tax structure that recently has… Read more →

Appleseed Law Clerks and Interns – Meet Emily Johnson

Note: Each year, Nebraska Appleseed is fortunate to work with a number of bright, talented law clerks and interns. This is one of a series of posts that feature Appleseed’s clerks and interns discussing their backgrounds and experiences. Name: Emily Johnson Hometown: Victorville, California Position: Economic Justice Intern About Me: “I go school at Hastings College, I’m a senior this… Read more →

Appleseed joins Rebuild Nebraska to protect The Good Life

A critical debate is underway in Nebraska about our current tax system.  The Legislature created the Nebraska Tax Modernization Committee to examine these issues.  This group, composed of 14 state senators, will hold meetings the rest of the year to decide what, if any, changes need to be made to our state’s tax structure. As part of that process, the… Read more →

Appleseed Summer Law Clerks and Interns – Meet Makayla Haussler

Note: Each summer, Nebraska Appleseed is fortunate to work with a number of bright, talented law clerks and interns. This is one of a series of posts that feature Appleseed’s clerks and interns discussing their backgrounds and experiences. Name: Makayla Haussler Position: Intern Hometown: Lincoln, Neb. (Junior-to-be at Lincoln Southwest High School) About me: “I’m about to be a junior… Read more →

Split of Food Assistance from House Farm Bill a serious concern for thousands of Nebraskans facing hunger

In response to the passage of the House’s version of the Farm Bill, Nebraska Appleseed Executive Director Rebecca Gould, issued the following statement: “It is unfortunate that today the House passed a Farm Bill that did not include the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) provisions. This raises serious concerns about the future of SNAP, which is a critical support for… Read more →

Appleseed Summer Law Clerks and Interns – Meet Victoria Rosenboom

Note: Each summer, Nebraska Appleseed is fortunate to work with a number of bright, talented law clerks and interns. This is one of a series of posts that feature Appleseed’s clerks and interns discussing their backgrounds and experiences. Name: Victoria Rosenboom Position: Fellow Hometown: Ashland, Nebraska About Victoria: Victoria is a senior at Nebraska Wesleyan University, studying political science and… Read more →

Take Action! Protect SNAP for Nebraska children and families!

SNAP is at risk – We need your help! No Nebraskan should go hungry.  However, nearly 14 percent of Nebraskans were food insecure in 2012. This means about 250,000 people in our state struggled to get enough to eat, including 80,000 children who received SNAP benefits. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is a vital support to these Nebraskans who… Read more →

Omaha women still struggle in poverty

A recent Women’s Fund research report “How Are Women Doing in Omaha?” highlighted several concerning statistics about women in poverty here in Nebraska. The report found women are more likely to have incomes below the Federal Poverty Level and African-American women were four times as likely as Caucasian women to live in poverty. Nearly two-thirds (63 percent) of Omaha families… Read more →

How to start a Summer Food Service Program site to feed children in your community

Note:  Thousands of children in Nebraska are food insecure and struggle to get enough to eat in the summer months when they are out of school.  Summer Food Service Program sites across the state do amazing work helping feed kids each year to make sure they don’t go hungry.  This is the conclusion of our blog series during “National Summer… Read more →

Farm bills contain SNAP cuts that will harm working families

On Monday, June 10, the U.S. Senate passed its Farm Bill by a vote of 66-27. The Senate bill, a comprehensive piece of legislation setting many of our nation’s farm and food policies, includes a huge cut to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Specifically, the Senate bill cuts $4.1 billion from SNAP over ten years by eliminating “Heat and… Read more →

Partnership puts summer food site on wheels in Omaha

Note:  Thousands of children in Nebraska are food insecure and struggle to get enough to eat in the summer months when they are out of school.  Summer Food Service Program sites across the state do amazing work helping feed kids each year to make sure they don’t go hungry.  During “National Summer Food Service Program Week,” we will feature several… Read more →

Nebraska Participation in Summer Meals for Children Continues to Fall Short

When the school year ends, many hungry children lose access to the school breakfasts and lunches they receive during the school year. Meals provided through the Summer Food Service Program play an important role in making sure these children have access to nutritious food once the school year ends. This program is federally reimbursed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture… Read more →

Lincoln summer food organizers have high goals for feeding kids

Note: Thousands of children in Nebraska are food insecure and struggle to get enough to eat in the summer months when they are out of school.  Summer Food Service Program sites across the state do amazing work helping feed kids each year to make sure they don’t go hungry.  During “National Summer Food Service Program Week,” we will feature several… Read more →

In Falls City, feeding children in the summer is a labor of love

Note:  Thousands of children in Nebraska are food insecure and struggle to get enough to eat in the summer months when they are out of school.  Summer Food Service Program sites across the state do amazing work helping feed kids each year to make sure they don’t go hungry.  During “National Summer Food Service Program Week,” we will feature several… Read more →

Summer Food 101 – What you can do to fight childhood hunger in Nebraska

Making sure Nebraska’s children have enough to eat all year round is one of the biggest responsibilities we have as a community. Many people are surprised to learn 42 percent of Nebraska children access the Free and Reduced-Price School Lunch Program.  However, many kids can’t access these meals in the summer when they’re not in school, and many families that… Read more →

Senate and House Farm Bills Include Drastic, Harmful Cuts to SNAP

Right now, the U.S. Congress is making important decisions about funding for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Funding for SNAP is included in the Farm Bill, a comprehensive piece of federal legislation authorizing and regulating funding for most federal farm and food policies. Congress reauthorizes the Farm Bill every five years. Last week, the U.S. Senate and House Agriculture… Read more →

Educational opportunity bill signed into law, will help low-income families become secure

Education is one of the best paths out of poverty.  Indeed, literacy, GED credentials, and other basic education skills are absolutely essential for economic independence. The Nebraska Legislature made strides towards making education more accessible by passing a bill that helps improve educational opportunities for low-income families. LB 240, a bill sponsored by Senator John Harms, allows low-income parents over… Read more →

Take Action to support accessible and high quality child care

Every Nebraska child should be safe while their parents are working, so affordable, quality child care is vital to allow our state’s families to be strong. You have a chance today to take action to strengthen working Nebraska families.  Please call your senator and ask them to support LB 507, “The Step Up to Child Care Act.” Each year about… Read more →

Free webinar on supportive services available for Nebraska students

Nebraska Appleseed invites you to attend our upcoming webinar regarding supportive services for students in Nebraska, Extra Credit: A Guide to Resources for Non-Traditional, Parenting, and Low-Income Learners on Thursday May 2 from 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. James Goddard, director of Appleseed’s Economic Justice and Health Care Access programs will give you the information you need to help students… Read more →

LB 309: Creating a more efficient public service delivery system

When the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) started the initiative called ACCESS Nebraska, the goal was to modernize service delivery in public programs by moving to a system with increased reliance on technology and fewer personal caseworkers. But, since its creation, clients have experienced many problems with the new system, including lost documents, long call wait times, and… Read more →

Bill would combat Nebraska’s high level of food hardship

Recently, the Food Research Research and Action Center (FRAC) released a new report examining the national percentage of households facing a food hardship – not having enough money to buy the food they or their families need. According to the report ”Food Hardship in America 2012” Nebraska has a food hardship rate of 13.8 percent.   Although this is better than… Read more →

Wage subsidy bill LB 368 a win-win for Nebraska businesses & employees

The great work ethic of Nebraska’s labor force is one of the most important drivers of our economy.  LB 368, introduced by Senator Sue Crawford, would create opportunities for Nebraska businesses to hire new employees and grow the state’s economy through wage subsidies. “LB 368 creates a subsidized employment pilot program that creates new job opportunities for low-income Nebraskans and… Read more →

Child care assistance bill would strengthen Nebraska families

Affordable child care is vital to allow families to work and to keep children safe. In Nebraska, the Child Care Subsidy Program provides assistance to low-income families that are working their way toward independence by helping cover the costs of childcare.  Unfortunately, Nebraska ranks at the bottom of the country in income eligibility for the Child Care Subsidy Program, creating… Read more →

Nebraska Appleseed Receives Grant to Further Anti-Hunger Efforts in Nebraska

Nebraska Appleseed is pleased to announce it has received a new grant from the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) to support its anti-hunger work. FRAC is a lead advocacy organization working to end hunger in America through stronger public policies. These new funds will support Appleseed’s work to raise awareness about the extent of hunger and poverty in our… Read more →

Appleseed joins dozens of testifiers opposing regressive tax plan

Yesterday, Appleseed joined dozens of testifiers from around the state – farmers and business leaders, college students and faith groups, health care administrators and advocates – in opposing the regressive tax plan laid out in LB 405. In a hearing that went for nine-and-a-half hours, Nebraskans from all over the state waited well into the night to tell the Revenue… Read more →

Regressive tax plan would threaten “The Good Life”

We oppose LB 405 because it would result in a regressive tax structure that puts that good life at risk.  By depleting a significant portion of revenue for the state, this proposal reverses the investments we have made for generations in the very things that make Nebraska strong – great public education, safe communities, and healthy families.  We recognize the… Read more →

Appleseed testifies in support of bills to protect hardworking Nebraska employees

Monday, Nebraska Appleseed staff testified in front of the Legislature’s Business and Labor Committee on several bills aimed at encouraging honest employment practices and protecting hardworking Nebraskans. Darcy Tromanhauser, Director of the Immigrant Integration and Community Participation Program, testified in support of LB 560 which seeks to prevent wage theft in Nebraska and ensure that a day’s work equals a… Read more →

New Report shows SNAP strengthens families in Nebraska

A new Nebraska Appleseed report shows how Nebraska’s working families are strengthened by the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). “Policies That Work: How the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Can Help Working Families,” provides an overview of the challenges many working Nebraska families face to pay for their basic needs, and illustrates how policy change to allow greater access to SNAP… Read more →

Working Poor Families Report shows more families working low-paying, unstable jobs

Despite more families holding jobs, the ranks of the working poor are increasing according to a new report from the Working Poor Families Project. The report, “Low-Income Working Families: The Growing Economic Gap,” shows nearly one-third of the nation’s working families are paid wages so low they struggle to meet their basic needs. Indeed, according to the report, 32 percent… Read more →

Nebraska Appleseed issues response to State of the State Address

Nebraska Appleseed Executive Director Becky Gould issued the following statement in response to the Governor’s State of the State Address today. “This morning, Governor Heineman laid out his priorities for the next year in his State of the State Address.  We agree that the State of Nebraska is strong and a great place to live.  Because of this, we are… Read more →

Appleseed 2012 Year in Review – Expanding Opportunities for Nebraska’s Low-Income Families

This is part of a series looking back on Nebraska Appleseed’s work in 2012. Protecting right to treatment for young children with developmental disabilities In May, Nebraska Appleseed filed a lawsuit on behalf of two children with developmental disabilities who were denied Medicaid coverage of medical treatments despite the treatments being deemed medically necessary by their doctors. Read the petition… Read more →

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 →

How the new Medicaid program would fuel the Nebraska economy

Last week, we talked about the coverage gap that about 78,000 Nebraskans would fall into if the Legislature chooses not to implement the new Medicaid program under the Affordable Care Act. These are Nebraskans that don’t qualify for the current Medicaid program, but don’t make enough to be able to get tax credits to buy health insurance through the Exchange.… 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 →

Bridge programs train high-skilled workers for a stronger economy

Nebraska Appleseed does a lot of work to encourage more educational opportunities for people with lower incomes because we believe education is the best ladder for people to climb out of poverty. Better education means better, higher-paying jobs that can support families and allow hard-working Nebraskans to be self-sufficient.  By 2018, 66 percent of all jobs in Nebraska will require… Read more →

Wage subsidy bill would help put more Nebraskans to work

The great work ethic of Nebraska’s labor force is one of the most important drivers of our economy.  Nebraskans work hard, and our businesses – especially small businesses – count on that hard work for success and economic growth.  At the same time, Nebraska’s working people need new opportunities to earn family supporting wages. That’s why Nebraska Appleseed testified Thursday… Read more →

Choosing Education

At a time when the highest-paying occupations and fastest-growing fields in Nebraska all require some type of academic credential or training, job-seeking adults with limited educational backgrounds are often at a disadvantage. Fortunately, parents in the Aid to Dependent Children (ADC) program have the right to take part in meaningful work activities that help them reach their goals – including… Read more →

Crucial improvements necessary for ACCESS Nebraska system

Tuesday, the Legislature’s Health and Human Services Committee held an interim study on the progress made by ACCESS Nebraska, the state’s new public benefit delivery system. ACCESS Nebraska was designed to modernize the public benefits system and improve efficiency, but there have been many problems that have occurred as a result of the transition.  At the hearing, several Nebraskans testified… Read more →

October 2012 News & Events

In this October edition of “Appleseed in Action”: Affordable Care Act community forums in Omaha & Lincoln Nebraska Student Organizing Conference: Oct. 20-21 Meet our law clerks! Nebraska’s emerging public interest leaders More than 325 people celebrate at the Good Apple Awards Stand Up For Justice: A Poster Show Benefiting Nebraska Appleseed   Affordable Care Act community forums in Omaha… Read more →

Outstanding contributions to justice recognized at Good Apple Awards

Nebraska Appleseed recognized several courageous Nebraskans Thursday night whose work has contributed to the fight for justice and opportunity for all at the 2012 Good Apple Awards. More than 300 people attended the Good Apple Awards at the Omaha Livestock Exchange Building ballroom.  Thursday’s event was the fourth such awards celebration for Nebraska Appleseed and drew its largest crowd ever.… 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 →

Rachel Jacobson to Receive the Milo Mumgaard Emerging Leader Award

Appleseed’s annual Good Apple Awards is less than one week away and Appleseed is excited to highlight our final honoree. The Milo Mumgaard Emerging Leader Award, named after Nebraska Appleseed’s founding executive director, recognizes young, emerging leaders who have a vision for the best of what Nebraska can be and, through initiative, hard work, and dedication, are pushing to make… Read more →

Meet the Law Clerks: Appleseed’s Young Advocate Series

This is one of a series of posts from Appleseed’s summer law clerks discussing their experiences at Nebraska Appleseed I was born and raised in Nebraska and lived there until I left for law school, so many of the problems and issues facing Nebraska are very close to my heart. My experience working at Nebraska Appleseed was absolutely amazing and… Read more →

Meet the Law Clerks: Appleseed’s Young Advocate Series

This is one of a series of posts from Appleseed’s summer law clerks discussing their experiences at Nebraska Appleseed Over the course of the summer, I was able to assist the Nebraska Appleseed office attorneys in a number of areas. The main project I worked on over the summer dealt with child welfare litigation. My office brought a class-action suit against… Read more →

Join us at the Good Apple Awards on October 4

In just two weeks, Appleseed will celebrate Nebraskans who stand up for justice and opportunity for all at the 2012 Good Apple Awards Make your reservations today. Individual tickets are $50. Young professionals tickets are $35. Tickets for students, seniors, and fixed-income are $20. 100% of your purchase directly supports Appleseed’s efforts fighting for justice and opportunity for all. Join… Read more →

Roots of Justice Awardees build multi-ethnic alliances to fight for justice

In just two weeks Appleseed will host the Good Apple Awards on October 4 in Omaha. We wrote recently about some of our honorees including Senator Kathy Campbell and the Nebraska Indian Child Welfare Act Coalition. This year, Appleseed is proud to present our Roots of Justice Award to a trio of Omaha community leaders who work together to build multi-ethnic alliances to help protect the voting… Read more →

Meet the Law Clerks!

Throughout the year, Nebraska Appleseed is fortunate to work with exceptionally bright young advocates through our intern and law clerk program. These students provide valuable support sharing their energy, creativity, and passion for social advocacy. This summer, Appleseed was fortunate to have eight public interest-minded law students clerk in our office: three from the University of Nebraska College of Law,… Read more →

September News from Nebraska Appleseed

In this September edition of “Appleseed in Action”: New data on poverty in America UNMC report reveals Medicaid expansion would cover 90,000 uninsured Deferred Action Forum: a new opportunity for DREAMers Appleseed files petition for hearing on meatpacking worker health & safety Join us at the Good Apple Awards on October 4 New data on poverty in America On Wednesday,… Read more →

Public programs help millions living in poverty

On Wednesday, the U.S. Census Bureau released its latest poverty, income, and health care statistics.  The data indicate that while the number of Americans living in poverty has stabilized from increases since the start of the economic recession, more must be done to help the millions of Americans still suffering under the crushing weight of poverty. According to the Census… 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 →

SAVE Asks Organizations to Sign On to Protect Vital Services from Budget Cuts

As we discussed last week, Nebraska and every state is facing devastating cuts to important programs beginning January 1, 2013. That is, unless Congress replaces these cuts with a different approach. Recently we encouraged our Congressional delegation to replace these across-the-board cuts with a balanced approach to deficit reduction, one that would include significant new revenues. We are not alone… Read more →

Journal Star Editorial Reveals “Silent Tax,” a Huge Cost to Health Care Consumers

In the discussions about how to fix our broken health care system, much has been made on how much it would cost the state to take up the Affordable Care Act’s new Medicaid guidelines. But an editorial in today’s Lincoln Journal Star shines a light on the huge cost of uncompensated care that hospitals and insurance companies pass on to… Read more →

Investments in Americans Pay Great Dividends

Yesterday, a guest column appeared in the Lincoln Journal Star written by James C. Roumell titled “What I built – with government help.” Mr. Roumell is, by the classical definition, a self-made man.  He grew up in a working-class neighborhood in Detroit.  He went to college.  He started a small business that has grown into a very successful financial asset… Read more →

UNMC Report Reveals Medicaid Opportunity We Can’t Miss

Today, the University of Nebraska Medical Center’s Center for Health Policy released a report examining the potential economic impact the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) new Medicaid program would have on Nebraska. The results paint a clear picture that the state would receive significant returns on an investment made in the good health and well-being of its citizens through this new… Read more →

Across-the-Board Budget Cuts will Hurt Crucial Nebraska Programs

Nebraska and all the states will face devastating cuts to their federal funding beginning January 1, 2013, if no action is taken by Congress to address the automatic cuts required by the Budget Control Act. The Budget Control Act required a committee to come to a deal regarding budget cuts to make for deficit reduction. Unfortunately, the committee did not… Read more →

Important Information on New Prenatal Care Law

A few months ago the Nebraska Legislature passed Legislative Bill 599 (LB599), which restores coverage of prenatal care to all unborn children, regardless of the immigration status of the mother.  The law went into effect on July 19, so women can start applying for and receiving coverage for prenatal care services as long as they meet certain Medicaid requirements. There… Read more →

Join Appleseed at the Maha Music Festival

We have some exciting news to share: Appleseed is going to the Maha Music Festival on August 11! Each year, the nonprofit and volunteer-led Maha Music Festival in Omaha brings the community together around great local and national music. As Maha puts it, “It’s about being in Omaha and loving every second of it. In the plainest sense, Maha is… Read more →

Take Action on Medicaid, Appleseed at Maha, & The Good Apple Awards!

The temperature hasn’t been the only thing heating up in Nebraska the past few weeks. The debate on whether Nebraska will take the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion – and expand health care coverage to at least 50,000 uninsured Nebraskans – has been heating up as well. In spite of the heat, Appleseed has been out and about in the… Read more →

We Are Still Fighting the War on Poverty

Milo Mumgaard is the founder and former Executive Director of Nebraska Appleseed. Peter Edelman recently wrote an on-point opinion piece in The New York Times on the challenge of ending poverty. This article is sobering stuff with the release of the annual poverty figures coming out next month, which will show the highest percentage of Americans living in poverty since… Read more →

ACCESS Nebraska Update

Nebraska Appleseed has been watching carefully the implementation of ACCESS Nebraska, our state’s new way of managing public assistance programs like food stamps and Medicaid. Some of you may be wondering: how is it going? This article from the Omaha World Herald provides an update on ACCESS Nebraska from multiple perspectives: “Nebraska’s Food Stamp Errors Carry High Cost” In summary,… Read more →

A Great Opportunity and a Real Solution

Nebraska advocates urge expanding health care coverage under Affordable Care Act Today, representatives of several Nebraska organizations, including Nebraska Appleseed came together in support of the opportunity under the Affordable Care Act to increase access to health care coverage.  The ACA creates a new program that will provide coverage to persons under the age of 65 who have incomes below… Read more →

OpenSky Policy Institute Report Shines Light on Nebraska State Budget

“The salvation of the state is watchfulness in the citizen.” These words are engraved over the entrance to Nebraska’s state capitol.  They have added meaning here in Nebraska, the only state in the nation with a Unicameral Legislature. Today, a new report from the OpenSky Policy Institute, “Looking for Clarity: An Overview of Nebraska Budget and Tax Policy”  was released.… Read more →

Register Today for CFRA’s Grassroots Advocacy Training

Here’s a great opportunity to learn more about engaging in advocacy on issues you care about from the great folks at the Center for Rural Affairs. We have a few spots left – RSVP today.  You can help us spread the word by forwarding this email to friends, family and neighbors who might be interested.   Grassroots Advocacy Training –… Read more →

Health Care, Immigration, Fair Pay & You’re Welcome!

In this edition of “Appleseed in Action”: Health Reform: Quality, affordable and constitutional health care for all; Arizona’s SB1070: Socially toxic and unconstitutional; Lilly Ledbetter in Omaha: One Woman’s Battle for Justice; You’re Welcome in Omaha!; Take Action: Opportunity for DREAMers 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 →

The Spring 2012 Edition of “At the Core”

The end of the 2012 Nebraska legislative session finished with a flurry of activity on prenatal care, child welfare, and a number of Appleseed’s priority bills passing. You can read about these successes and other recent efforts in the latest edition of our bi-annual newsletter “At the Core.” Download a printable copy of “At the Core” Inside you can read… Read more →

The Day is Here: Challenging Restrictive Behavioral Health Policies

All Nebraska children should have the support they need to be healthy and productive as they grow up. Early behavioral health services are proven to be most effective for children, save money, and are required by Medicaid under federal law. On Friday, Nebraska Appleseed, with our partners at the National Health Law Program (NHeLP), filed a class action lawsuit against… Read more →

Lawsuit Filed to Protect the Rights of Nebraska Children with Autism and Developmental Disabilities

Today, Nebraska Appleseed and the National Health Law Program (NHeLP) filed a class action lawsuit in Lancaster County District Court against two officers of the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on behalf of two children who have been denied necessary behavioral health treatment recommended by their doctors. The suit challenges an HHS Medicaid policy that excludes certain… Read more →

Honoring Senator Kathy Campbell

Save the Date! Nebraska Appleseed’s 2012 Good Apple Awards Thursday, October 4, 2012 Livestock Exchange Building Ballroom 4920 S. 30th Street Omaha, NE Cocktails & hors d’oeuvres: 6pm Program & ceremony: 7pm honoring Senator Kathy Campbell Jim Wolf Equal Justice Award This year, Appleseed is proud to recognize Senator Kathy Campbell with the Jim Wolf Equal Justice Award for her… Read more →

THANK YOU! Prenatal Care Restored!

Yesterday was a great day for Nebraska’s children.  The Legislature voted 30-16 to override the Governor’s veto of LB 599 and restore Nebraska’s decades-long policy of providing prenatal care and prioritizing the health of Nebraska children. Thank you for calling and emailing throughout this debate. Being engaged in this process truly made a huge difference! We also must thank the 30 senators… Read more →

Legislative Update

This was a very good week at the Legislature for children in Nebraska and several of the other issues we have prioritized at Nebraska Appleseed.  The bill to restore prenatal care, LB 599, passed its final round vote and was presented to the Governor yesterday.  And several of Appleseed’s priority bills became law this week.  Here is a quick recap:… Read more →

JOIN US TODAY, 5pm Vigil to Restore Prenatal Care!

VIGIL TO RESTORE PRENATAL CARE TODAY: Wednesday, April 11, 5pm Help ensure that all Nebraska babies have the chance at a healthy start in life.   Join us! Wednesday, April 11 5pm-6pm State Capitol, Lincoln (West side of the capitol building – at the statue of Lincoln – 14th Street & Lincoln Mall.) The effort to restore prenatal care is… 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 →

Timeline of Prenatal Care Coverage in Nebraska

The Nebraska Legislature is on the verge of passing LB 599, a bill to restore prenatal care to all low-income children. For decades the State of Nebraska maintained the wise and fiscally smart health policy to provide prenatal health coverage and ensured that all children had a chance at having a healthy start to life. Our state’s investment in prenatal… Read more →

Legislative Update

There has been a good deal of activity at the Legislature on Appleseed’s priority issues since the last update.  Here is a quick summary: “Green Lights” In the Capitol’s legislative chamber, there is a large sign listing each Senator’s name. When a Senator votes in favor of a bill, a light next to their name turns bright green. “Green Lights”… 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 →

Rally to Protect Your Right To Vote

THURSDAY, March 22, 2012 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm Douglas County Election Commissioner’s Office 225 N. 115th Street & Davenport, Omaha The Douglas County Election Commission has announced it will close almost half of the longtime polling places in Omaha which will have a disproportionate effect on North and South Omaha, the elderly, the disabled, and people who do not have… 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 Father’s Perspective on Prenatal Care for All

My name is Brian Schnieder, and I’m part of the ambassador family for the March of Dimes in Omaha, Nebraska.  Seven years ago, my son Jackson was born prior to twenty-five weeks. My wife had a medical condition that was undetected until she was further along in her pregnancy.  He was born weighing one pound, one ounce, and was small… Read more →

Half Way Point at the Legislature & Priorities are Set

This is the inaugural edition of Nebraska Appleseed’s Legislative Update, our regular look at the Unicameral’s work on issues impacting working families, immigrant Nebraskans and the communities where they live, children in foster care, access to health care, voting rights, and more.  We are sending you this edition because you have already subscribed or we hope you will after reading this update.… Read more →

More Support for Restoration of Prenatal Care

There is a great editorial this morning from the Lincoln Journal Star calling for the restoration of prenatal care coverage and the passage of LB 599. The editorial notes the irrefutable moral and fiscal reasons for restoring coverage and, we believe, rightly notes that it is time to debate this issue. It is time that voters understood who would not… Read more →

Ensure Low-Income Parents Can Access Education As a Path Out of Poverty

The Aid to Dependent Children program provides critical support to very low-income families and has the goal of helping families achieve economic security as quickly as possible.  A key part of the program is that all adults must participate in a work activity for at least 30 hours a week.  Currently, parents participating in Nebraska’s ADC program may pursue an… 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 →

Legislation Leads to Higher Education for Parents

Legislation passed by the Nebraska Unicameral in 2009 is opening the doors to higher education for low-income parents, according to a report released today by the Nebraska Appleseed Center for Law in the Public Interest entitled “Choosing Education.” The report indicates that 13.3% of Nebraska’s cash welfare caseload is currently engaged in education that could lead to an Associates Degree, thanks in… Read more →

LB 1063 Aims to Fill Medicaid Gaps & Help Parents Keep Their Kids

The state’s child welfare system is in great need of reform. A vital piece of ensuring reform is effective is to prevent children from entering the system unnecessarily. LB 1063 is intended to address gaps in Medicaid services for children, which needlessly push children into the system to obtain the mental health services they need. Indeed, LB 1063 makes certain the Medicaid program plays its… Read more →

Appleseed Welcomes New Intake Coordinator Trisha Thompson

It all began when Trisha Thompson landed an internship here at Nebraska Appleseed. “I started interning on the intake line at Appleseed last summer and pretty much fell in love with it,” said Trisha. After graduating with her B.S. in psychology from Peru State College, Trisha is happy to be officially on board at Appleseed serving as our new Intake… 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 →

Appleseed at the Legislature

The 2012 Legislative session is off to a fast and furious start.  We are already a third of the way through this short (60 day) session and Nebraska Appleseed is working on more bills than ever before.  We’d like to highlight some of the key issues we are working on in our programs and give you an opportunity to get… Read more →

Improve Service Delivery and Efficiency in the Department of Health & Human Services

On February 1, the Health and Human Services Committee held a hearing on LB 1041 and LB 1016. Both of these bills are intended to address problems with the ACCESS Nebraska system. Appleseed supports both of these bills. LB 1041 would streamline HHS systems to make them more efficient and effective for everyone. LB 1016 would provide resources to community… 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 →

HHS Budget Should Invest in Children and Families

On Monday, Nebraska Appleseed’s Executive Director testified at the Appropriations Committee in response to the Nebraska Department of Health & Human Services’ appropriation request.  Appleseed believes that DHHS’s budget must invest in and protect low-income children and families’ needs. [DDET Appleseed Testimony] Senator Lavon Heidemann Chair, Appropriations Committee State Capitol, Room 1004 Lincoln, NE 68509 Re: Agency 25, Department of… Read more →

Immigrants and the Child Tax Credit by the Numbers

Denying the Credit to Some American Children Doesn’t Make Sense By Marshall Fitz , Sarah Jane Glynn of The Center for American Progress As the February deadline for Congress to extend the payroll tax holiday through 2012 approaches, members of Congress continue to come up with inhumane and counterproductive ways to offset the loss of tax revenue. Rather than look to the wealthiest citizens… Read more →

Nebraska Can’t Afford LB970’s Tax Cuts

Yesterday, Nebraska Appleseed’s Executive Director Becky Gould testified at the Nebraska Legislature’s Revenue Committee in opposition to LB970.  The bill would cut state income taxes and corporate taxes in Nebraska.  The bill would significantly decrease revenue to the state’s general fund and hinder the state’s ability to invest in the future – a strong child welfare system serving vulnerable children and… Read more →

Lobby Day for Voting Rights

“I’m here … because I think that voting rights are the basis of our democracy.  When I see voting rights come under attack I feel personally attacked and my heart goes out to people this bill will affect,” said Claire Hillan when asked why she gathered with over 70 other Nebraskans at the State Capitol Wednesday to lobby state senators… Read more →

Waiting for Midnight

“Waiting for Midnight” has nothing to do with Cinderella.  Instead, NBC’s Rock Center recently drew attention to a different kind of “mad dash.”  Hungry families across America are waiting for midnight at the first of the month when funds under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps) become available. With our country’s current economic woes, more… 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 →

Near Miss for Nebraska’s Hungry Families

Last night the Senate considered taking action that would limit states’ flexibility in serving struggling families during difficult times and would cut food assistance to 19,000 Nebraska families.  Thankfully, this bad amendment to the Agriculture Appropriations bill was voted down on a 41-58 vote. The amendment, proposed by Senator Sessions, would have eliminated state flexibility in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance… Read more →

Build A Stronger Nebraska Together

This summer, I met up with Omaha graphic designer Justin Kemerling of The Match Factory to discuss an idea for an Appleseed art exhibit.  We’ve worked with Justin on a number of Appleseed projects – most recently our Voices from Fremont poster exhibit chronicling how residents witnessed a sense of division, hostility, and suspicion in Fremont since the town passed a restrictive immigration ordinance in 2010.  Justin’s work… 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 →

A Law Clerk’s View: Medicaid & the Federal Budget Process

My time working as a summer law clerk at Nebraska Appleseed flew by. I was excited to work for an organization motivated by the values of justice and opportunity. By the end of the summer, I had a deeper understanding of both the challenges advocates face when addressing systematic inequality, as well as the creative strategies organizations like Appleseed use… Read more →

Creators of Strong, Vibrant Communities: Karen X. Gómez & Maria Dávila

Nebraska Appleseed is honored to announce that Karen X. Gómez & Maria Dávila of Columbus, Nebraska, will be one of the inaugural recipients of the Roots of Justice Award. Karen and Maria truly embody the vision of this award. Unsung grassroots heroes, these two are quietly working to build important nonprofit infrastructure in rural Nebraska and to do their part to create strong,… Read more →

Fighting for the Common Good: John Cavanaugh

It has become cliche to talk about the children as our future.  It is more likely to conjure up a 1980s ballad rather than the obvious truism that underlies the statement.  But John Cavanaugh and Building Bright Futures (BBF) have recognized the basic truth that if we create or leave in place barriers to a good and productive future for… Read more →

Building Nebraska’s Future: The D. Milo Mumgaard Young Leader Award

In 1996, Nebraska Appleseed’s founder Milo Mumgaard developed a vision for a public interest law firm that could take on the toughest issues facing low-income and marginalized Nebraskans.  He started small with a one person operation run out of his basement and through hard work, dedication and skill, grew the organization to twelve staff in eleven years.  Part of the… 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 →

Janet Goodman-Banks to Receive the Roots of Justice Award

Nebraska Appleseed is excited to announce that Pastor Janet Goodman-Banks of Lincoln will receive the inaugural Roots of Justice Award. Janet, a nurse and former coal miner, has been one of Appleseed’s strongest community allies in the historic push for comprehensive health reform.  Janet’s story of being diagnosed with stage II breast cancer and struggling with her health insurer to… Read more →

Celebrating Nebraska’s Unsung Grassroots Heroes

Earlier this spring, a number of us at Appleseed got to talking about how fortunate we’ve been these past fifteen years to work alongside so many great community volunteers who push for a more just and equitable Nebraska. Many of our best community education and legislative efforts have succeeded in concert with grassroots volunteers all across our state – expanding… Read more →

Public Assistance Programs DO Matter for Kids and Families

We all know that a lower income means more struggles for families. Families with greater economic resources are not only able to better provide important inputs into their children’s development such as nutritious meals, safe neighborhoods, and higher-quality educations, but higher incomes have also been shown to improve parent’s psychological well-being and parental interactions with children. However, public perceptions remain… Read more →

Organizations Urge a Balanced, Values Based Approach in Federal Budget Negotiations

Nebraska Appleseed joined organizations from across the state Tuesday to urge the President and Nebraska’s federal representatives in Washington to develop a budget that reflects Nebraska values. In a Statement of Principles, Nebraska organizations called on the President and Congress to address the federal deficit while also protecting vulnerable Americans and economic security. It is important that we are speaking… Read more →

New Academic Research Shows Medicaid Good for Nebraskans and People Generally

Economists at Harvard and MIT recently examined the question of whether the expansion of Medicaid coverage under new health reform laws will translate into medical care that people need. The outcome? The results were encouraging, providing evidence that Medicaid does indeed make a very positive impact on the lives of recipients. Medicaid, a federal-state program for low-income and severely disabled… Read more →

The Federal Budget Debate: Nebraska Appleseed’s Perspective

Important discussions have been happening this summer as members of Congress debate how to balance the federal budget and address the national deficit. Many of the deficit reduction proposals would severely affect Nebraska’s most vulnerable populations and have a negative impact on our state’s economy. Several proposals being considered would reduce the deficit by implementing deep spending cuts in public… 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 →

Legislative Bill 465 and Lawful Permanent Residents

In April 2011, the Legislature passed LB 465. This new law changes eligibility for some public benefit programs for certain lawful permanent residents. A lawful permanent resident (LPR) is an immigrant with a green card, who is legally admitted to the U.S. to live and work on a permanent basis. Below is a Q&A to help you understand who is… Read more →

Green Lights

At the capitol, in the legislative chamber, there is a large sign listing each Senator’s name. When a Senator votes in favor of a bill, a light next to their name turns bright green. Yesterday, those lights turned green in overwhelming favor of LB 543, legislation to address hunger in our state. The bill passed the second round vote and… Read more →

Happy Birthday to Nebraska Appleseed!

Today, Nebraska Appleseed celebrates its 15-year anniversary! Fifteen years ago, our founders incorporated Nebraska Appleseed with the mission that, like Johnny Appleseed, we would “sow the seeds of justice” across the Great Plains – advocating fairness, opportunity, and equal justice for all people. These core values continue to drive our staff, interns, volunteers and supporters to address systemic problems at… Read more →

Smart Choices, Silver Linings

In good times and in bad, families and communities remain priorities for Nebraska.  The economic downturn has had an impact on state budgets and on family budgets, and our state leaders are facing difficult choices in the 2011 legislative session. In spite of this challenge, several bills that are positive for families are gaining momentum.  These bills help our government… Read more →

Opportunity: Points of View

A small business of her own. A chance to coach sports. A college degree. These are just a few of the American Dreams of Nebraskans profiled in “Opportunity: Points of View” a new photography exhibit supported by Nebraska Appleseed. The exhibit reflects the stories of hardworking Nebraskans who have overcome life obstacles, ranging from a young Mom in Ogallala to… Read more →

What it Really Means to “Make Ends Meet” in Nebraska

$16.39 per hour. That’s what it takes to “make ends meet” for a single parent with a preschooler in Omaha. It’s $15.38 in Lincoln, and $11.66 in Scottsbluff. These numbers are just a few examples of the wages needed by families in Nebraska based on the newly released “Self-Sufficiency Standard for Nebraska 2010” released by Nebraska Appleseed. “The Self-Sufficiency Standard… Read more →

A Win for Kids

This week, the Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act of 2010 was signed into law.  The bill is a win for children’s health and well-being in Nebraska and nationwide. Watching the bill become a law in a signing ceremony that was (appropriately) held at Harriet Tubman Elementary School, I was proud of the work that Nebraskans and Nebraska Appleseed did to… Read more →

Jobs Jobs Jobs

Jobs: they’re what’s on everyone’s mind as we work to build economic recovery.  What job opportunities are available in Nebraska?  What jobs are “good jobs”?  What jobs have growth potential?  What jobs pay wages that support families? Our “Nebraska Appleseed’s Top Jobs for Families in 2010: Jobs that Contribute to Economic Recovery and Family Success“ report is intended to contribute… Read more →

Filling the Skills Gap in Nebraska

In 44% of low-income Nebraska families, neither parent has any post-secondary education. In 2018, 66% of jobs in Nebraska will require post-secondary education. There is a skills gap in our state: too many folks lack high school and post-secondary credentials, and too many jobs require them.  This is a problem for workers now, and for our overall economy in the… Read more →

Smart Choices in Hard Times

Best practices for addressing state budget shortfalls have been identified by a group of ten nonprofit organizations today in a report entitled “Smart Choices in Hard Times: Best Practices for State Budgets.” “When budgets are tight, families are counting on smart budget choices that protect what matters most.  We have to look at the budget as a whole so that… Read more →

A New Month, A Small Reminder

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… Read more →

Nebraska Poverty Rates Better than Nation but Nebraska Families with Children Still Struggle

In spite of poverty rates that show Nebraska faring better than the rest of the nation, data show thousands more Nebraskans are low-income, according to a report released by the U.S. Census Bureau, “Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2009“. One in ten Nebraskans (9.9%) faced poverty in 2009. This is equal to the rate of… Read more →

Hunger Action Month

September is Hunger Action Month and the momentum is building to address childhood hunger in Nebraska and Nationwide. Our vision of assuring that all kids have the food they need to grow, learn, and succeed is within reach. As a nation, we are turning our eyes towards the goal of ending childhood hunger by 2015.  As a state, we are… Read more →

Clerkship: An Important Step Toward a Fulfilling Legal Career

While working as a summer law clerk at Nebraska Appleseed I have had the opportunity to be exposed to a wide range of public interest issues, as well as a number of strategies for addressing those issues. Every situation is unique, requiring creative thinking and hard work to reach the best solutions. For example, certain complex legal problems necessitate combing… Read more →

A Voice for the Needy

I came to Nebraska Appleseed knowing that many of the policies I would advocate would be under attack. I was right, and the common complaints were all present. If a benefits program wasn’t too expensive, it was creating incentives for illegal activity. It is easy for groups to attract support simply by shouting others down, but the quiet, untiring work… Read more →

Appleseed’s Summer Law Clerk Program

Each summer, Nebraska Appleseed’s law clerk program attracts some of the best and brightest public interest minded law students from Nebraska and across the country.  This summer was no exception.  We were fortunate to have eight students: three from the University of Nebraska College of Law, three from Creighton University Law School, one from the University of Iowa College of… Read more →

Nebraska Supreme Court Rules In Favor Of Low-Income Parents Dropped from Medicaid

Last week Appleseed won a lawsuit in the Nebraska Supreme Court which restored Medicaid benefits to hundreds of low-income parents unlawfully dropped from the program by the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). In the suit, Davio v. HHS, 280 Neb 263 (2010), class members challenged HHS’ policy of terminating a person’s Medicaid benefits as the result of… Read more →

An Urgent Conversation: The 2010 Building Nebraska’s Future Workforce Forum

Nebraska is at a crossroads. The choices we make today about building and supporting our workforce will impact quality of life in our state for years to come. According to the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, Nebraska ranks 7th in the nation for future need for workers with post-secondary education, yet only 36% of our workers have… Read more →

Hunger Doesn’t Take a Vacation

Ahh, summertime.  For me, summertime in Nebraska brings back memories of swimming lessons, playing with kittens, and eating picnics of sandwiches, peaches and popsicles on our front porch.  Unfortunately, for too many kids in Nebraska, summertime is a time of hunger, rather than one of carefree days and picnic meals. According to a new report, “Hunger Doesn’t Take a Vacation:… Read more →

Smart Choices in Hard Times

Nebraska’s budget should reflect Nebraska’s priorities. This seems like a simple statement, but really, it says quite a lot. It says that Nebraska values of family and community should drive our budget choices, it says that our shared resources should be directed at strengthening our families and workers, and it says that we should invest in opportunities that allow people… Read more →

To Serve or Save? How About Both?

Last week Appleseed testified on a major shift in Nebraska’s Medicaid program. The state is moving to a “full-risk” managed care program in ten counties contiguous to Omaha and Lincoln on August 1. For over a year Appleseed has been expressing serious reservations about this change. (You can read our testimony here) The fundamental orientation of full-risk managed care is… Read more →

Prenatal Care: The Conversation Continues

In March the Governor and the Department of Health and Human Services decided to stop a decades old policy of providing prenatal care to all low-income women and over 1,600 women and unborn children lost access to prenatal care. A simple administrative fix is still available to remedy this change and Appleseed and others will continue to push for a… Read more →

Economic Independence and Access to Health Care Go Hand-in-Hand

For many years, Nebraska Appleseed has worked to protect access to health care for low-income families in our state. We continued to strive towards this goal recently in the Nebraska Supreme Court, by representing a class of over 400 low-income families that had lost Medicaid health care coverage. In the case of Davio v. Nebraska Department of Health and Human… Read more →

Moving the World Along

“I long to accomplish great and noble tasks, but it is my chief duty to accomplish humble tasks as if they were great and noble. The world is moved along, not only by the mighty shoves of its heroes, but also by the aggregate of the tiny pushes of each honest worker.” – Helen Keller This quotation has hung on… Read more →

Our Friends and Neighbors

What does the economic downturn and emerging recovery mean to Nebraskans? Specifically, what does it mean to our friends and neighbors, the folks we sit next to at church or PTA meetings at the high school track meet? Over the past few years, we’ve heard multiple answers to those questions. We hear that times are getting better and that times… Read more →

Common Ground

I’ve been fortunate this week to participate in meetings with Jay Connor, Executive Director of the Collaboratory for Community Support. This organization is dedicated to helping communities break down silos and work together towards positive outcomes. He uses a quotation from movie director Frances Ford Coppola to discuss the need for collaboration in community initiatives. When asked what the difference… Read more →

Time to Take the Nebraska Education & Welfare Model Nationwide

Education is one of the clearest pathways out of poverty. Nebraska Appleseed has been repeating this statement nearly since our inception, and our work has paid off:  Nebraska welfare recipients are able to pursue a Bachelor’s Degree full time, and recently, our state expanded the time frame that recipients can pursue an Associate’s Degree from 12 months to 36 months.… Read more →

The Reward of Working in Public Interest

I was recently asked by my law school alma mater (University of Nebraska College of Law) to reflect on my choice to pursue public interest law in Nebraska and how law school had prepared me for that task.  As I wrote out my answers, I realized how lucky I was to stumble upon Nebraska Appleseed almost nine years ago.  I… Read more →

The Right Choice for Nebraska Workers

Nebraska Appleseed has been a long time advocate for working families.  In particular, we are supportive of programs that are responsive to family needs in difficult economic times.  Unemployment Insurance is one such program, and last week Nebraska’s State Senators gave first round approval to a bill (LB 1020) that would make it even stronger. Unemployment Insurance is paid into… Read more →

Questions and Answers about Medicaid Coverage of Prenatal Care for Pregnant Women

For many years, Nebraska’s Medicaid program covered prenatal care for the unborn children of pregnant women, regardless of a woman’s immigration status. But, on March 1, many unborn children of pregnant women lost prenatal care covered by Medicaid. Since this changed happened there seems to be confusion about what services Medicaid will continue to cover. At Nebraska Appleseed, we are… Read more →

The Politics of Hate

Yesterday, the efforts to restore prenatal care to all low-income women in Nebraska in this legislative session came to an end.   The Legislature passed an amendment that may help a handful of women access prenatal care who were cut off on March 1st and are victims of domestic violence.  We are obviously glad to see critical prenatal care restored to… Read more →

Appleseed – A Great Teacher

Today we have a “guest blogger” Alessia Satterfield, a fantastic University of Nebraska-Lincoln Student Intern at Nebraska Appleseed. Take a look to see Nebraska Appleseed from an Intern’s perspective! When I stepped through the doors of Nebraska Appleseed I had no idea what to expect. I had done my research and had perused the website in order be as knowledgeable… Read more →

Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

It was quite a week for health care.  (Please keep reading for important info on a sign on letter for prenatal care.) First, on Tuesday, President Obama signed the health insurance reform legislation into law.  Last night, the final amendments to that legislation were passed by the House, completing the long and arduous process of passing this legislation.  It is… Read more →

Politics Prevail

Sad news today.  LB 1110, Senator Campbell’s bill to restore prenatal care coverage, was “bracketed” today by unanimous consent.  This means that, while the bill is technically still alive, it won’t come up on the floor this session and is essentially dead.  Unfortunately, politics prevailed over good policy and there weren’t enough votes to pass the bill. Here is the… Read more →

Just The Facts Please – The Truth About Prenatal Care

Nearly another whole week has gone by for over 1,500 women and children cut off from prenatal care.  Thankfully, there were a few bright spots this week in the effort to pass LB 1110.  The Omaha World Herald came out with a very strong editorial in support of LB 1110. Other press stories made clear that the majority if calls… Read more →

Making the Grade on Child Nutrition

I am blogging today from Washington, D.C.   I am attending the Food Research and Action Center’s Annual Anti-Hunger Policy conference and visiting our federal delegation. There is a real movement here surrounding President Obama’s goal of ending childhood hunger by 2015. This would mean that by the time our current class of sixth grade students graduates from High School child… Read more →

Healthy Babies or Politics?

Monday, March 1st was not a good day for Nebraska.  On Monday, over 1,500 women and their unborn children lost their access to prenatal care.  For decades Nebraska has been a state that prioritized the health of the mothers and babies in this state.  On Monday, the Administration and the Department of Health and Human Services decided that wasn’t important… Read more →

A Bumpy Ride

Increasingly, the economic downturn is leading Americans, and Nebraskans, to access public benefits programs such as Child Care Assistance and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).  In fact, the New York Times ran a recent story about “the new poor” entitled “Millions of Unemployed Face Years without Jobs”.  The story chronicles the experiences of folks who never imagined they would… Read more →

Changing the Odds

Last week, we launched our Economic Opportunity Campaign, which is a values based policy agenda to build opportunity in the state.   The Campaign puts forth a vision where programs and policies change the odds for working Nebraskans. The vision includes job training, adult education, child care assistance, and access to health care. In that spirit, we are celebrating five fantastic… Read more →

Common Sense and Prenatal Care

For years Nebraska has had a common sense, compassionate, and fiscally sound policy of providing prenatal care to low-income mothers regardless of immigration status. But now, over 1,000 pregnant women face the terrifying prospect of losing their coverage for prenatal care as of March 1st. One of the worst parts of this? The coverage could easily be continued at a… Read more →

Equal ACCESS

Nebraska Appleseed has used the tag line “Core Values, Common Ground, Equal Justice” for a long time.  We look to these central principles in a variety of ways about a variety of issues. Last Thursday, our own Becky Gould testified regarding ACCESS Nebraska – our state’s on-line application system for public benefits programs.  And, in many ways, the Nebraska Appleseed… Read more →

Hunger Headlines

For many of us, the holidays bring great feasts – traditions ranging from turkey and gravy to oyster stew to Mom’s infamous Christmas cookies. For many of us, they also make our thoughts turn to those who are not able to celebrate the holidays in the same way.  In the weeks surrounding the holidays, hunger has made local, state, and… Read more →

2,100 People

Think for a minute:  Who do you know that lost a job in 2009?   Chances are that you can think of someone.  I can think of many: The wife of an old friend, a caller to Nebraska Appleseed’s Intake line, a parent I know at a local school…Job loss has been difficult for many families this year.  Nebraska has a… Read more →

National Summit on Jobs and Economic Growth: An Ongoing National Conversation

This Thursday, December 3, the Obama Administration will hold a Summit on Jobs and Economic growth. The summit will bring together business leaders and financial experts to talk about ideas for expanding the economy and creating jobs. This is an important step in moving forward the national conversation about jobs. Across the nation, this is the worst economic crisis since… Read more →

Kitchen Tables

I love Thanksgiving.  My Dad (my favorite farmer) cooks for us, and this year, I have not one but two beautiful nieces to giggle with at the table.  This is what valuing family means to me.  I am grateful for a good meal, for family, and even for the baby drool and stuffing that will inevitably end up on my… Read more →

Learning (Aprendizaje)

Last week, I was lucky enough to sit in on an adult education class in a small Nebraska community. The first assignment was to write a simple letter to a friend. Many of the students were attending the class in order to learn English. In an attempt to see what the class might be like for the students, I took… Read more →

6 Tips for Nonprofit Advocacy

Did you know that in issuing regulations on lobbying, the Internal Revenue Service has stated that public charities “may lobby freely” so long as lobbying is within specified limits? Last week, I had the pleasure of sharing that message at the Nonprofit Association of the Midlands (NAM) Annual Summit http://www.nonprofitam.org/ The Summit was a great event, with fantastic attendance and… Read more →

The Floor Is Yours

Last week I attended a town hall meeting hosted by the State Senators representing Lincoln and Lancaster County about the current budget shortfall and the upcoming special session of the State Legislature to address the gap. I was genuinely touched by the number of Nebraskans speaking out on behalf of low income families.  Person after person stood up to speak… Read more →

Make Your Voice Heard on the Budget

The impending budget shortfall in the state will force Nebraskans to make some very tough and clear decisions about our priorities. Senator Nordquist and members of the Appropriations Committee have created a new way for you to express your priorities to them as they work on these difficult budget cuts. They want to hear from you. Please go to www.nebraskabudget.com… Read more →

How Can Nebraska Come Out Ahead In The Economic Recovery?

Brain drain, a high proportion of low-wage jobs, and the current economic downturn all negatively impact the well-being of Nebraska’s families, communities, and economy. At the same time, our workforce is one of the most dedicated in the nation and, in spite of recent increases, our unemployment rate is one of the lowest in the nation. So what do we… Read more →

Immigrants and Public Benefits in Nebraska: An Update on Implementation of LB 403

In the past few months you might have heard about Legislative Bill 403 (LB 403), which went into effect on October 1, 2009. LB 403 was passed by the Nebraska Unicameral in March, 2009. LB 403 has two distinct parts. First, LB 403 requires state agencies and political subdivisions to verify the lawful presence of applicants for “public benefits.” Second,… Read more →

Ending Childhood Hunger in Nebraska

September is Hunger Awareness Month. As a part of this nationwide effort to draw attention to the issue of hunger in America, Nebraska Appleseed is releasing a report tomorrow entitled “Ending Childhood Hunger in Nebraska: Strategies for Improving and Maximizing Child Nutrition Programs.” The report shares the unsettling finding that one in seven children in Nebraska is food insecure, meaning… Read more →

The Good News

In these times of economic struggle, it’s tempting to focus only on the difficulties facing our state and our families. While the Low Income Self Sufficiency Program will continue to address issues ranging from unemployment to increased poverty rates, this week, we’re taking a hiatus from the problematic to bring you some good news. And, in fact, there’s plenty of… Read more →

More than Numbers

One in ten Nebraskans currently lives in poverty according to new Census data released last week. One in ten…One in ten folks driving down I-80 on your commute to work this morning…One in ten parents at your PTA meeting…One in ten people attending your church service on Sunday… The truth is that the recession is taking a toll on our… Read more →

The “Good Life Index”

What is “The Good Life”? We Nebraskans love to talk about it, but I don’t often hear people define it. Think about it for a minute – what does “The Good Life” mean to you? This term means different things to different people, but generally, it refers to a high quality of life that involves healthy people, safe communities, and… Read more →

Back to School Breakfast

Today many children across the state don new backpacks, sharpen their pencils, and begin the giddy walk to the first day of school.  Thinking about the first day of a new school year always makes me remember the nervous feeling I would have in my stomach on the first day, accompanied by a series of questions running through my mind:… Read more →

“Know Your Rights” Video Premier!

[kaltura-widget wid=”o1s82qbvqo” width=”400″ height=”365″ style=”margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 5px;” addpermission=”” editpermission=”” align=”right” /]Recently, I attended a great event entitled “Tools for Education” at an organization that is doing excellent work in Nebraska, the Center for People in Need. In addition to sharing backpacks and notebooks to prepare kids for the upcoming school year, the Center for People in Need gave folks… Read more →

Valuing Work, Valuing Workers

In recent months, the economic downturn has strengthened the value that Nebraskans place on a hard day’s work.  Now, more than ever, we recognize and appreciate the opportunity to earn a living to support our families.  This is, in part, why we can celebrate the recent minimum wage increase from $6.55 to $7.25 which will provide a much-needed boost for… Read more →

“The arc of history is long, but it bends towards justice.” MLK Jr.

In the next few months, it will be my job to tell people about a recent Nebraska Appleseed “win.”  This year, Nebraska Appleseed, along with Senator Harms from Scottsbluff and numerous advocates and supporters, worked to pass LB 458, legislation that allows families that participate in the Aid to Dependent Children (ADC) program to pursue an education for 36 months.… Read more →

Hidden Heartache in Nebraska’s Unemployment Numbers

Nebraska newspapers recently reported that our state has the lowest unemployment rate in the nation at 4.4%. Certainly, this is a positive sign for Nebraska’s economy – and it’s good that we are not seeing the record breaking unemployment rates of over 10% in Nevada, Oregon, Michigan, and California. However, in our role as an advocates for low-income Nebraskans, it’s… Read more →

Being the Change

What does a good public assistance program look like? From the Appleseed point of view, basic principles would apply:  Folks would have all the information they need to make good decisions, clients would have opportunities for choice and self-determination, and all people would be treated with dignity and respect. Our legal and public policy reform efforts continually work to create this vision… Read more →

I Left My Heart in Scottsbluff County

Visionary.  Strategic.  Innovative.  These are a few of the words I would use to describe the folks that attended our Town Hall meeting in Scottsbluff, Nebraska http://www.wehavejobs.net/ last week.  Scottsbluff may be considered a small community by some, but the leaders I spoke with had big ideas for their community and for the state. The meeting addressed three major issues:… Read more →

Multiple Choice

One in ten Nebraska adults does not have a High School Diploma or General Equivalency Diploma (GED). Startling, isn’t it? In our evolving, knowledge-based, technology-driving economy, the lack of basic skills is a real barrier – not only for workers in need of jobs that pay family supporting wages, but also for employers in need of skilled workers. In spite… Read more →

What’s for dinner?

This apparently simple question is deceptively complicated. Families everywhere grapple with “the dinner question” on a daily basis. What’s in the fridge? When is Mom getting home from work? Can the vegetable hating seven-year-old be convinced to eat something with tomato sauce? And, increasingly, is there enough money in the checking account to stop at the store? Dinner. In a… Read more →

The State of Opportunity in Nebraska

Just over six months ago, Nebraska voters, by a smaller margin than was anticipated, passed a constitutional amendment to prohibit laws and policies that help those who have traditionally and to this date, been denied equal access to a wide range of opportunities.  As part of that debate, and recently at the national level with the nomination of Judge Sotomayor,… Read more →

Who is your “One in Four”?

The next time you are at a t-ball game, or a parade, or at the local pool, take a good look around. One in four working families in Nebraska is low-income, meaning that they have difficulty meeting their basic needs and struggle to get ahead. Maybe it’s the high school janitor, whose kid plays third base. Maybe it’s your neighbor,… Read more →