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The American Rescue Plan Act made a historic investment in WIC’s ability to enhance families’ access to healthy food. Just twelve years ago, WIC introduced fruits and vegetables into the food package and now the Biden administration has allowed for four months of added value that triples the overall value of the WIC fruit and vegetable benefit and nearly doubles the overall benefit for WIC participants. So, we’re seeing families who previously had only $9 or $11 per month for fruits and vegetables now get $35 per month.

From USA Today: "Seniors in states that invested in their health systems enjoy a higher quality of overall care, a new 50-state ranking shows. Researchers compared health care in 24 categories for Medicare recipients in all 50 states and Washington D.C. related to cost, quality, and access. The data, taken from publicly available databases, was weighed equally against each other before being averaged out, giving each state an overall score. The analysis, conducted by insurance technology company, ranked Minnesota first with North Dakota close behind. Massachusetts and California followed in the third and fourth spots. Nebraska ranked fifth, and Hawaii followed in sixth.

A new report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities reviews a body of research to evaluate the short- and long-term health impact of income support programs for children. The research overwhelmingly shows that income significantly contributes to opportunities for good health for children, as families with higher incomes are more likely to have access to healthcare, safe housing, nutritious food, healthy recreational activities, and higher-quality schools. Conversely, children in lower-income families who struggle to afford their basic needs tend to have worse health outcomes over time.

LIFT is a 20-year-old national organization with sites located in Los Angeles, D.C., New York and Chicago. Our mission is to partner with parents and invest in them in order to break the generational cycles of poverty. We know that poverty, like wealth, is passed down from generation to generation and that is because of racial inequity and underinvestment in our communities and structural barriers that have been designed to keep families trapped in that cycle.

Joshua Stewart and H. Luke Shaefer examine the federal income limit formula, which is used to calculate families’ eligibility for federally-funded housing and community development programs. In the current system, applicants are deemed eligible based on their income relative to their neighbors, an effort to allow limited funding to reach those most in need. However, the current formula involves determining the outlines of a county or Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) to calculate the average income, known as the Median Family Income (MFI). Stewart and Shaefer argue the system leaves too many families unable to make ends meet, but also unable to qualify as low-income, and they urge policymakers to address the issue. “We can live in a country where we make it possible for everyone to prosper,” they say. “Solving this accidental disparity would be a small first step.”

A century ago, a prosperous Black neighborhood in Tulsa, Oklahoma perished at the hands of a violent white mob.

As you may already know, President Biden released his full FY2022 budget on May 28, 2021. As with all Presidential budgets, this sets out the Administration’s vision for spending and policy choices for not only fiscal year 2022, but the remainder of the decade.

Assistant Director Stephen Menendian published a powerful new essay this week to mark the 100-year anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre, about the contemporary social cost of denying your history. He writes: "If the opposite of denial is truth, then truth is the predicate for a society of inclusion and belonging. A society inflected with denial is warped and distorted, unable to see itself in the mirror as it truly is. And any society that cannot grapple with reality is one that will have many disturbing pathologies. Indeed, this should now be obvious. There is a price to be paid to live in denial."

Due to the Pennsylvania legislature’s failure to raise our state minimum wage, Pennsylvania’s low-wage workers have lost ground relative to their counterparts in surrounding states, especially in rural areas. Read the basic issues and recommended reading from the KRC-PBPC website.

May 12, 2021: April’s weak jobs report proved even more dismal for working women, highlighting a complicated path to economic recovery. Mia Clark needs a job. But it can’t just be any 9-to-5 job. Read More.

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