COVID relief must grow SNAP funding
I read Sen. Deb Fischer’s piece on hunger and COVID (“Battling hunger and COVID,” July 22) with great interest.
She ends her piece with a commonsense statement we can all agree on: “No American should go hungry.” But in the Senate, as in life, talk is cheap. In four previous COVID relief bills, efforts to expand funding for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program during the pandemic fell flat.
Fischer must know this. She sits on the Agriculture and Nutrition Committee. Without a meaningful increase to SNAP benefits, rates of hunger, which have already tripled for families with children during the pandemic, will not stop growing.
An increase can be implemented all but immediately. And, best of all, this would have the added benefit of stimulating the economy as people spend their benefits quickly and in their local communities. Yes, America’s most effective anti-hunger program is also an economic engine for Nebraska farmers.
COVID has forced us all to reevaluate our priorities. But not the obligation to feed those in need. Perhaps this fifth time will be a charm for both Fischer and the Senate. This may very well be her — and our — last chance this year!
Marge Schlitt, Lincoln
Nation needs to step up again
We are now in the greatest crisis to confront this country since World War II, I’m sure most would agree. So let’s take a look at how we’re responding now and what we were able to accomplish then.
President Franklin Delano Roosevelt called upon all citizens to come together to defeat our enemies, and what we did was amazing. Thanks to people like Rosie the Riveter, we were able to produce the materials necessary to win that war.
According to Air and Space Magazine, in 1944, we were able to get an average of 263 aircraft per day from the factories to the flight line. Now we’re unable to produce enough COVID-19 tests to get the virus under control and can’t even get folks to put on a mask!
How about we put forth one-tenth the effort of that older generation and get this thing licked. We’re better than this.
Steve Peek, Lincoln
Gage County can cash in on wind
The issue of wind energy development is once again before the Gage County Board of Supervisors. Thanks to the good work of Gage County Planning and Zoning Commission, reasonable wind energy development regulations have already been developed and approved.
These guidelines were developed to balance the interests of farmers and landowners who want to take advantage of the opportunity to increase their farm income with other rural residents that choose not to participate in wind energy development.
Despite the claims of the opponents, wind energy is a tried and proven technology. Wind energy development has brought almost $10 million of new annual income for Nebraska farmers and landowners, over $15 million of new annual local tax revenues and over $4 billion of new capital investment to rural counties. In addition to the new, good-paying, permanent jobs, there are the short-term wind energy construction jobs that provide a real shot in the arm for local restaurants and hotels.
Everyone who reads a newspaper knows that Gage County is struggling financially from the payments for the Beatrice 6 settlements, family farmers are struggling with low commodity prices for yet another year and all land and home owners are struggling with the heavy burden of property taxes.
Please join me in encouraging our Gage County supervisors to take advantage of the win-win-win economic opportunity wind energy provides for Gage County, property tax payers and family farmers. When a badly needed economic opportunity knocks, let’s take advantage of it.
Vern Jantzen, Plymouth
Bolz brings can-do spirit
For the last eight years, Nebraska Sen. Kate Bolz has served her constituents with intelligence, imagination and compassion.
Senator Bolz has balanced the sometimes conflicting challenges of state government, including, fiscally responsible funding of education, human services, criminal justice, public safety, public infrastructure, promoting Nebraska agriculture and business interests and workers’ rights. She is effective because her focus has always been on building bridges, not walls.
As a demonstrated leader who is fiercely independent, innately fair, born and raised on Nebraska values, Kate Bolz is the ideal person to courageously address the wrongs, the immovable divisions and the inefficiencies plaguing our federal government, much like George Norris did when he was first elected to represent Nebraska in Congress over a century ago.
Senator Bolz’s roots run deep in eastern Nebraska, much like the ruts from wagons traveling the Oregon Trail were etched deep into the ground of her grandparents’ farm in Otoe County. Kate Bolz is one of us.
As a state senator, Kate has demonstrated that she has our interests at heart. You can trust that she will bring her Nebraska no-nonsense, can-do spirit to restore the trust of the people in our federal government. I invite you to join with me in sending Nebraska Sen. Kate Bolz to fight for us in Congress.