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More than 4 out of 5 Black mothers are the sole breadwinners of their household. According to the Institute of Women’s Policy Research, the average annual earning for Black women in Nebraska is $27,000, and according to the MIT living wage calculator, the annual earnings that will provide a living wage for a single woman and 1 child in Nebraska is $54,000 dollars. Childcare alone accounts for 30% of the average income for Black women, leaving very little resources for housing, food, healthcare, and other necessities to meet the needs of their family.
Stable, quality and trusted child care options are integral to ensure Black women can fully participate in the workforce yet it is out of reach for many Black women who are disproportionately represented in low-wage jobs. Child care is often the biggest barrier for women to start working, keep working, or advance in their careers.
We can meet the workforce needs of our businesses, support full participation in the workforce and our economy, and increase the economic stability of families and communities by investing in affordable child care.
The rate of food insecurity for Black women and families is almost 3 times of the rate of white individuals.
Food insecurity is a continuous, unforgiving cycle, being increasingly harder to escape once a family is brought in. Food insecurity, or the lack of monetary resources to access healthy and safe foods, leads to families making ends meet by purchasing food that is affordable relative to their income, often lacking diet quality and bandwidth. Systemic racism has led Black people to be more likely to live in poverty, work low-wage jobs, and reside in neighborhoods where healthy food options are inaccessible. All of these factors increase someone’s likelihood of experiencing hunger.
Food insecurity exacerbates the existing health disparities faced by Black families, increasing the likelihood of chronic diseases and hospitalizations. The link between food sufficiency and health outcomes is strong and doing more to connect families struggling to put food on the table with programs like SNAP will promote economic stability, allowing Black families to thrive.
Nebraska can make childcare affordable by increasing eligibility for child care assistance through Title XX and ensure that families can afford child care on their own before kicking them off assistance.
Nebraska policymakers can combat food insecurity through expanding income-eligibility to 185% of the Federal Poverty Line, and launching a targeted outreach program to make families aware of social supports they are entitled to.