Monday, February 6, 2023


Fare-free public transit benefits Kansas City residents and businesses; farmers prioritize food, not feed in the 2023 Farm Bill; and a new survey: students want a more diverse inclusive curriculum.


The Democratic National Committee votes to shake up the presidential primary calendar, President Biden gets a better than expected jobs report before his second State of the Union, and lawmakers from both parties question the response to a Chinese data gathering balloon.


Is bird flu, inflation or price gouging to blame for astronomical egg prices? Pregnancy can be life-changing or life-ending depending on where you live, and nine tribal schools are transforming their outdoor spaces into community gathering areas.

Food Insecurity Looms Amid Inflation, End of COVID Era Supports


Tuesday, December 27, 2022   

The issue of charity around meals is a common theme during the holidays, though this year the prospect of a sudden drop-off in federal benefits has hunger advocates worried.

The federal government's response to the pandemic saw Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits increased, so anyone in the program got the maximum benefit for their household size. The likely end of the current federal health emergency sometime next year will bring with it a reduction in food support for thousands of Marylanders.

The increased benefits have been one of the more enduring parts of federal government stimulus programs since the pandemic began.

Michael J. Wilson, director of Maryland Hunger Solutions, said the state has seen a large economic benefit from the program.

"Over the course of the pandemic more than $2 billion dollars has been spent in Maryland through the SNAP program," Wilson pointed out. "And if you think of the impact that has not just on low-income folks, but on grocery stores, on farmers markets, on corner stores, it's infused our entire economy."

Maryland Hunger Solutions estimates every dollar in SNAP benefits spent in the community generates $1.85 in local economic activity.

The SNAP program is revised in the Farm Bill, which is approved every five years and is due to be negotiated in Congress next year. Wilson sees the upcoming debate over the bill as an opportunity for advocates to educate legislators on issues of food insecurity and equity.

One example he cites is how SNAP recipients cannot buy a hot pizza or rotisserie chicken in a grocery store, but could buy frozen ones. Wilson wants to see the policy changed as it does not take into account people in different circumstances.

"There are some folks who may be seniors, who may be disabled, or who may be homeless and to tell them you have to buy the frozen chicken, and not the rotisserie chicken doesn't recognize the changes that exist in society or in the retail sector," Wilson contended.

In November the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimated the level of food price inflation at grocery stores to be at least 11% in 2022. While the forecast predicts inflation slowing in 2023, they anticipate grocery prices will still rise another 3% next year, and Wilson added people in need will continue to rely on a spirit of generosity.

"I want that spirit of charity to extend beyond just the holidays," Wilson remarked. "I want that spirit of charity to focus on how we can deal with food insecurity in a sustainable way, and not just a single meal, so that we can make sure that we really are focusing on addressing food insecurity."

get more stories like this via email
Michigan environmental activists have begun to focus on environmental justice issues in low-income communities that bear the brunt of industrial pollution and political indifference. (Adobe Stock)


By Tom Perkins for Planet Detroit.Broadcast version by Mark Richardson for Michigan News Connection with support from the Solutions Journalism Network…


By Jared Brey for Governing.Broadcast version by Deborah Van Fleet for Missouri News Service reporting for the Solutions Journalism Network-Public New…

Social Issues

South Dakota is once again locked in a debate over a bill concerning transgender youth. It seeks to ban gender-affirming care, with supporters …

Voters in Pittsburgh-area districts 32, 34 and 35 will head to the polls Tuesday to fill three vacancies in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. (MoiraM/AdobeStock)

Social Issues

While the Pennsylvania House is still out of session and won't resume until late February, the public and advocacy groups are voicing their concerns…

Social Issues

CORRECTION: YouthTruth surveyed more than 28,000 high school seniors from the class of 2022 and the class of 2019 in 19 states, including New York…

For every $1 invested in ARRIBA - El Paso's workforce development program - the local economy receives $28 back, according to a 2021 study by the Hunt Institute for Global Competitiveness. (Rob/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

For more than two decades, a workforce development program in El Paso has invested in the economically disadvantaged to help them attain the …

Health and Wellness

Nebraska's long-term care facilities face staffing shortages and other factors that could lead to more closures if state funding isn't increased…

Social Issues

Engineers with the University of Maine say the successful construction of the world's first bio-based, 3D-printed house could help alleviate the …


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