By
Christine Woody

Just a few weeks into the new school year, many families are learning that after two years of all Missouri public school children receiving free school lunches, the School Lunch Program has returned to pre-pandemic form. Back in March of 2020, many Federal child nutrition waivers were offered as a form of COVID-19 relief. These...
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This past spring, as the school year was winding down, nonprofits across the country began working on plans to implement their summer feeding programs for kids. Planning was harder than usual though, as nonprofits were unsure what this summer would look like. The waivers that were put into place in March 2020 in light of...
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Earlier this month, the Food Assistance and Hunger in the Heartland Report was released. This is a first of its kind-a comprehensive research study about nutrition access and hunger commissioned by a Missouri based entity! Feeding Missouri, the association of the six Missouri based Feeding America Food Banks, commissioned this statewide research project from the MU...
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In 1996, Congress passed the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA), sometimes known as the welfare reform bill. Buried deep within that sweeping legislation was a provision that hardly received any debate, but has had lifelong implications for millions of Americans. This provision imposed a lifetime ban on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program...
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This past week Empower Missouri held its Annual Week of Action. In addition to 3 virtual days, this year we were able to be back in the Capitol for the first time in over 2 years! It was so good to be back.  On each of our virtual days attendees were able to learn about...
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As Joseph Llobera from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities stated in his report Child Support Cooperation Requirements in SNAP Are Unproven, Costly, and Put Families at Risk, “both the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps) and the Child Support program improve the health and well-being of millions of low-income children every...
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This special Weekly Perspective is a collaboration between MO Jobs with Justice Organizing Director Richard Von Glahn and Empower Missouri’s Policy Manager Christine Woody.  During his state of the state, Governor Mike Parson recommended a long overdue 5.5% cost of living adjustment for all state employees as well as a new minimum wage of $15...
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In over 120 years, Empower Missouri has advanced and passed many successful policies. One of the most impactful was a significant decrease in the food sales tax led by our Hunger Task Force back in 1999. Our leaders identified that issue because our task force members were keenly aware of how sales tax is an...
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Earlier this week, the Missouri Senate Economic Development Committee heard Senate Bill 790 which would provide state tax credits to grocery stores that open in food deserts across our state. According to USDA, a food desert is a low-income tract where a substantial number or substantial share of residents does not have easy access to...
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There was a slight delay in Congress’ work on the Build Back Better legislation these past couple weeks because Congress had to pass a continuing resolution that would continue funding the federal government at current spending levels through February 18. The continuing resolution passed and was signed by President Biden last week so work can...
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