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About Karena Cash

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So far Karena Cash has created 24 blog entries.

Slam Dunks for School Nutrition

For most Kentuckians, March brings up thoughts of basketball and brackets.  For our school nutrition professionals and students, however, March is the home of National Nutrition Month.  The USDA school nutrition programs, like the National School Lunch and School Breakfast programs, are a slam dunk for Kentucky kids, ensuring they have access to at least two meals a day during the school year. With over 1 in 6 Kentucky kids not having enough to [...]

By |2023-03-23T13:15:01-04:00March 23rd, 2023|Blog, Economic Security, Education, Health|

Efforts to Improve Kentuckians’ Ability to Find Safe, Stable Housing

Kentucky kids and families need a safe, stable home in order to thrive. However, the rising cost and declining supply of housing has made it difficult for 43% of Kentucky renters to find safe, stable housing. For many of these families, a job loss or medical emergency could put them at risk for eviction or homelessness, seriously impacting their long term economic, food, and housing security. This is especially true for families of color, who [...]

Wins for Kids in the New Federal Omnibus Budget

While kids across Kentucky were waiting for Santa to deliver gifts, Congress delivered a major win for kids and families through the omnibus federal budget for fiscal year 2023. From addressing summer hunger and child care affordability to expanding access to programs such as home visiting, this budget makes some major investments in Kentucky kids and families: Addresses summer hunger by creating a permanent Summer EBT program and loosens the congregate feeding requirements for meals [...]

Benefits Cliff Task Force 2022 Findings & Recommendations

For most families, getting a raise or new job is a reason to celebrate. For families on public benefits, however, an increase in income is often met with anxiety around how their benefits will be impacted by the benefits cliff.  The benefits cliff refers to a sudden decrease in public benefits as a result of an increase in earnings. This loss in benefits often leaves families worse off financially, even though they are making more [...]

By |2022-12-16T13:30:19-05:00December 16th, 2022|Blog, Bloom Kentucky, Child Welfare & Safety, Economic Security|

Kids Can’t Wait: Federal Nutrition Needs

As families across Kentucky are preparing for Thanksgiving dinner, schools are preparing for how they are going to feed kids next summer and school year. With 1 in 6 Kentucky kids experiencing hunger, the in-school and summer meals schools serve are more important than ever. However, without Congress taking quick action to extend federal COVID-19 era programs and waivers, many schools will not be able to continue operating these programs and many Kentucky families will [...]

By |2022-11-21T15:47:40-05:00November 21st, 2022|Blog, Economic Security, Education, Health|

Understanding the Impacts of Free School Meals

This week is National School Lunch Week, which recognizes the importance of the National School Lunch Program. In Fiscal Year 2019, the National School Lunch Program served almost 82 million meals to approximately 515,000 Kentucky students.  With over 1 in 6 Kentucky kids being food insecure, many Kentucky students rely on the meals served through this program to ensure they have consistent access to food. Research further shows that Kentucky students rely on school meals [...]

By |2022-10-12T16:20:15-04:00October 12th, 2022|Blog, Economic Security, Education, Health|

Much Needed Updates Proposed for KTAP

Access to cash is essential for families to handle everyday expenses and endure emergencies. It is especially important for very low income families who may not have the resources and savings needed when big purchases and unplanned expenses arise, such as a broken bone, car repairs, or school supplies. The Kentucky Transitional Assistance Program (KTAP) is a vital support for families living below the Federal Poverty Line, providing this cash support alongside the training and [...]

By |2023-02-14T09:48:39-05:00September 28th, 2022|Blog, Bloom Kentucky, Economic Security|

The Latest Trends in Child Poverty and Health Insurance

Last week, the U.S. Census Bureau released its annual data on poverty and health insurance. This annual release of single-year data follows the release of the national KIDS COUNT Data Book, both highlighting key indicators of child well-being. Because we know that what gets measured gets changed, below are key data takeaways from the Census Bureau’s release. The data reveals that 22.1% of Kentucky children lived in poverty in 2021, which is not significantly different [...]

By |2022-09-21T18:08:46-04:00September 21st, 2022|Blog, Economic Security, Health, Race Equity|

A Look at the New Benefits Cliff Task Force

For many people, receiving a raise, promotion, or new job opportunity is something to celebrate. However, for families utilizing public benefits, a raise in wages can often be met with anxiety around what that raise will mean for their benefits and overall ability to provide for their families.  The benefits cliff refers to the sudden decrease in public benefits that often occurs when recipients get a small increase in earnings. This cliff has consistently been [...]

By |2022-07-21T12:48:43-04:00July 21st, 2022|Blog, Bloom Kentucky, Economic Security, Medicaid|

Keep Kids Fed Act

At the start of the pandemic, Congress acted quickly to ensure schools and nonprofits had the tools and flexibilities needed to keep kids fed. Waivers like the congregate feeding waiver have allowed schools in rural Kentucky to deliver meals directly to kids, while higher reimbursement rates have helped schools and child care centers weather staffing and supply chain challenges.  Last week, Congress once again acted quickly to ensure that these flexibilities and higher reimbursements were [...]

By |2022-06-30T16:58:48-04:00June 30th, 2022|Blog, Economic Security, Health|
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