skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Thursday, May 23, 2024

Public News Service Logo
facebook instagram linkedin reddit youtube twitter
view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Tornadoes kill 5 and injure dozens in Iowa; coalition presses lawmakers to put climate bond on CA November ballot; More residential care coming for children with acute mental health needs; and ND again ranks high for workplace danger.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

The House GOP moves to strike mention of Trump's criminal trial from the record, and his former rival Nikki Haley endorses him. Meanwhile, Ohio Republicans reject a legislative fix to ensure Biden's name appears on the November ballot.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Smokey Bear thought only "you" could prevent forest fires, but decomposing mushrooms may also help, a Native American community in Oregon is achieving healthcare sovereignty, and Colorado farmers hope fast-maturing, drought-tolerant seeds will better handle climate change.

Amid Budget Pressure, Low-Income Minnesotans Get School-Supply Relief

play audio
Play

Wednesday, August 16, 2023   

The average U.S. household will spend nearly $900 on back-to-school supplies this year, and in Minnesota, poverty-fighting organizations are feverishly trying to help low-income families get the items they need for a successful school year.

The cost estimate is from a National Retail Federation survey, and researchers said it is the highest total they've recorded. It comes as these families try to juggle higher expenses elsewhere, including rent, utilities and food.

Annie Shapiro, advocacy director for the Minnesota Community Action Partnership, said the Legislature has helped with actions such as free school meals for all students. But some families will still have tough decisions to make.

"We still have families really struggling to meet those basic needs," Shapiro pointed out. "When you're struggling to meet your basic needs, those more second-tier expenses just fall by the wayside. "

Around the state, community action agencies work with local partners on back-to-school giveaways for registered households. For example, last week, Community Action Partnership of Scott, Carver and Dakota counties gave away more than 700 backpacks filled with school supplies. The offices report heavy demand for overall services, and school supply events are no exception.

In northeastern Minnesota, the Arrowhead Economic Opportunity Agency is in its third year of handing out shoes to students who need them.

Emily Bombich, planning director for the agency, said it has grown to the point where they have a waitlist. She noted shoes can be an overlooked item as part of back-to-school needs.

"Kids all need to have, it seems like, a couple pairs of shoes when they go back to school," Bombich noted. "If a kid doesn't even have a new pair, how can they have a couple? And when they don't have a pair of good-fitting shoes, that can cause a lot of different issues."

Organizers argued it includes potential injuries, as well as feeling stigmatized.

In Meeker County, United Community Action Partnership has an annual school-supply giveaway.

Rochelle Brummond, outreach worker for the partnership, said they handed out more than 100 backpacks on the first day. Students use a lot of electronics these days, but her team ensures those in need have basic supplies.

"We have notebooks, we have scissors, we have glue sticks," Brummond outlined.

She added trying to cover such expenses is especially hard on families with multiple children.

Disclosure: The Minnesota Community Action Association Resource Fund contributes to our fund for reporting on Early Childhood Education, Health Issues, Housing/Homelessness, and Poverty Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


get more stories like this via email
more stories
A partir de 2023, uno de cada cinco adultos inmigrantes legalmente presentes dice que no tiene seguro, en comparación con menos de uno de cada diez adultos ciudadanos naturalizados y nacidos en los EE. UU., según KFF. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

play sound

La administración Biden finalizó una norma que ampliará la cobertura de atención médica a los beneficiarios de la Acción…


Health and Wellness

play sound

The Biden administration has finalized a rule that will expand health care coverage to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipients, who will …

Environment

play sound

Alliance Medical Center in Healdsburg just switched on new solar panels and battery backup as part of a plan to make the clinic more resilient to powe…


Some 170 community groups and nonprofits rallied in Sacramento on Wednesday in favor of a proposed bond measure to fund a variety of climate-related projects. (Community Water Center)

Environment

play sound

A huge coalition of 170 groups rallied in Sacramento on Wednesday, pressing lawmakers to put a climate bond measure on California's November ballot…

Health and Wellness

play sound

Colorado lawmakers are investing more than $15 million to ensure children experiencing complex behavioral challenges, including trauma, major …

The meal pictured above was served at a recent Minneapolis event designed to call more attention to climate change and its effect on food production. (Photo courtesy of Jayme Halbritter)

Environment

play sound

By Cinnamon Janzer for Civil Eats.Broadcast version by Mike Moen for Minnesota News Connection reporting for the Solutions Journalism Network-Public N…

Social Issues

play sound

North Dakota has not managed to substantially reverse its rate of workplace fatalities. An annual report puts the state in the top five in the …

Environment

play sound

North Carolina's 220,000 acres of salt marshes face multiple threats to their major roles in climate protection and ecosystem health, from rising …

 

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