Monday, August 2, 2021

Play

Hundreds of thousands of Medi-Cal recipients are paying monthly premiums when they donít have to; Dr. Fauci predicts the pandemic will get worse.

Play

The Texas voting rights fight gets star power; lawmakers stage a sit-in as the eviction moratorium expires; and Senators work overtime on infrastructure.

Report: COVID Changes to Nutrition Program Benefit NC Moms, Kids

Play

Wednesday, June 9, 2021   

RALEIGH, NC -- Barriers to accessing a federal nutrition program for moms and babies persist in North Carolina, but new research shows loosening the rules during the pandemic improved participants' experience.

Nearly 300 recipients were surveyed across eight counties, and the report says many didn't know about or take advantage of policy changes that would have expanded their benefits.

Study author, Duke University Assistant Professor Dr. Carolyn Barnes, said the pandemic's economic fallout has increased demand for assistance by 30% to 40% -- a surge that has challenged the capacity of many resource-constrained agencies.

"I had workers say that their caseloads had gone up 20 to 30%," said Barnes, "and that they were working overtime to process cases."

The report, from Duke University's Center for Child and Family Policy, found allowing remote appointments and more flexibility in the types of food people can purchase, and extending certification periods, made it easier to use the 'WIC' program. In 2019, federal data show North Carolina reached around half of WIC-eligible residents.

The survey also found only 27% of WIC participants surveyed were aware of the greater flexibility in food choices that could have simplified their grocery shopping amid pandemic-related food shortages.

According to Barnes, most women learned about the changes through social media, family and friends, rather than from state agencies. She believes increasing public awareness about these programs can boost participation.

"Your fellow churchgoer or someone you work with, or someone you know personally, your family member that's just lost a job - if you know information about how to sign up for these programs, you can point them to those programs," she advised.

The report also found many households were unaware of the COVID-19 changes to SNAP benefits. Between 20% and 25% said they knew about emergency allotments and extended recertification deadlines. Only one-third of those surveyed were aware they could use their SNAP benefits to shop for food online.




get more stories like this via email
Some tenants' advocates would like Virginia's new budget proposal for American Rescue Plan funding to include money for low-income renters to hire lawyers for eviction cases. (Adobe stock)

Social Issues

RICHMOND, Va. - Virginia's General Assembly Special Session begins today to budget more than $4 billion in federal COVID relief funds, and advocates …


Social Issues

ROSLINDALE, Mass. - A new report finds Massachusetts residents would rather repair electronic devices than send them to landfills, but manufacturers …

Social Issues

DENVER-During the COVID health emergency, the federal government made school meals available for free to all students, regardless of their financial …


The Blackfeet Reservation is one of seven tribal reservations in Montana. (Kushnirov Avraham/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

HELENA, Mont. - COVID-19 is underscoring the importance of ensuring that people's estates are in order, but estate planning can be be tricky for …

Social Issues

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Pandemic fallout still has U.S. states clawing their way back to normalcy, and New Mexico believes its decision to provide more …

In a new poll, 64% of New Hampshire voters said they think capital gains should be taxed at the same rate as income from wages; 56% support increasing the corporate tax rate to 28%. (Vitalii Vodolazskyi/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

CONCORD, N.H. - New polling finds many New Hampshire voters think it's important that wealthy individuals and corporations pay what's described as …

Social Issues

AMARILLO, Texas - The American Farm Bureau Federation hosts more than 100 college level chapters across 35 states, but this is the first time its …

Social Issues

ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. - As activists mark more than 100 days of protest since the April 21 death of Andrew Brown Junior - killed outside his Elizabeth …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright © 2021