Photo of the Brown County office building, which is connected to the Brown County courthouse and jail.

How SD counties are spending $250 million in COVID relief money

BY: - June 14, 2023

The majority of $250 million in COVID relief money South Dakota counties received from the state and federal government during the pandemic has been spent or obligated to replace payroll for county employees or stashed into county general funds, according to tracking documents from the state and federal government. Members of the South Dakota Legislature […]

Cutline: Many states allocated their first rounds of federal COVID relief funds to replace revenue lost and keep essential services running, but others used the money for programs that were not aimed at alleviating the effects of the pandemic. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

States criticized for spending federal relief funds on tax cuts, prisons

BY: - February 1, 2023

As states plan how they’ll spend the $25 billion remaining in federal COVID relief funds, some also are facing criticism and renewed scrutiny over how they allocated money already received from the American Rescue Plan Act. Of the $198 billion authorized by Congress in 2021, $173 billion already has been appropriated by states, the District […]

Four in 10 adults in the United States have medical debt, according to a report from the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Two communities find a cure for medical debt: pandemic stimulus funds

BY: - November 21, 2022

Local governments in Ohio and Illinois are using American Rescue Plan Act money to relieve residents struggling with medical debt by partnering with an organization that buys debt and wipes the slate clean for debtors. It’s a strategy advocates say could be duplicated across the country to help erase a multibillion-dollar problem. On Nov. 9, […]

Feeding America and Akron-Canton Regional Food Bank host Hungry to Help Lesson Plan for students at an Ohio elementary school in Fairlawn, Ohio.

Studies show gains against childhood hunger were lost after child tax credit ended

BY: - November 15, 2022

An article in the Journal of the American Medical Association in October confirmed previous research that food insecurity increased substantially after the expiration of federal monthly advanced child tax credits on Jan. 15, 2022. The study looked at the period between January and July of this year in a series of national surveys, and found […]

A sigh shows the Sioux Falls, SD location of the Helpline Center, one of three call centers across the state that connects callers to a range of services.

Calls to 211 Helpline Center rising again after post-pandemic lull

BY: - November 11, 2022

Mental health calls to South Dakota’s 211 Helpline declined as the COVID-19 pandemic tapered off, but calls for all needs – especially for housing help – are on the rise again. That was among the major takeaways from a Department of Social Services (DSS) presentation on the operations of the statewide assistance call center on […]