OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Residents want answers as to why federal money isn’t coming to Nebraska to help those in need.
Nebraska is the only state in the country that didn’t extend the emergency Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program from the federal government. It allowed SNAP recipients to get hundreds of dollars extra each month for food.
“It’s really hypocritical to me to talk about being a pro life state, or to talk about getting Nebraskans back to work, or talk about everything we’ve done to support our workers when in practice we’re actually not doing a lot to support our workers. We’re not doing a lot to support our families, those single parents, those people working minimum wage jobs, the workers who we’re calling essential. We’re not treating them like they’re essential when we’re denying them federal benefits that every other state in the country decided to opt into,” State Senator Megan Hunt explained.
Nebraska DHHS confirmed they did not apply for the emergency extension of benefits like other states.
“The unemployment rate rose as a ripple effect from the pandemic. Because of this SNAP emergency allotments were one temporary means for Nebraskans directly impacted to receive additional temporary assistance while unemployed. As restrictions have loosened and many Nebraskans began getting back to work, the numbers of those needing additional supports began to decline. State programs will continue to return to their typical operations as we continue to return to a greater place of normalcy and work to get Nebraska growing. We encourage all residents who can and are able to get back to work to do so. Those who are not able and in need of assistance should seek support by visiting ACCESSNebraska. Programs like SNAP Next Step and many others in our state are in place to help families in need achieve greater financial independence to live better lives. We continue to evaluate the need for additional opportunities and supports for families. However, we remain optimistic in that many families are returning back to work and parts of their lives as they knew it prior to the pandemic,” said Khalilah LeGrand, Director of Communications for Nebraska DHHS.
Hunt wants to call a special session to address all the issues Nebraskans have been dealing with during the pandemic because the shortened session did not.