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Kansas foster kids are still sleeping in offices

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Kansas in 2020 settled a lawsuit over the way the state’s foster care system treated children. Has the state lived up to its promises? Plus: A federal program aimed at helping low-income communities access food pays its own employees so little that some workers qualify for food stamps themselves.

Kansas Governor Laura Kelly said in 2019 that the state’s foster care system had reached a “crisis point” and required immediate rescue. Three years later, an independent evaluation of the state system says there's more work to be done. The study found that kids in the system are benefiting from more stability, but some are still forced to sleep in offices overnight. On KCUR's Up To Date, Steve Kraske spoke with Laura Howard, Secretary of the Kansas Department for Children and Families, about the Kansas foster care system and its progress.

About 10% of U.S. households are food insecure, and there are a number of federal programs in place to help bring that number down. One of those programs is the Supplemental Nutrition Education Program, or SNAP-Ed, which involves educating food stamp recipients about low-budget eating. But according to an investigation by Harvest Public Media and the Midwest Newsroom, some employees of the program are paid so little that they themselves are experiencing food insecurity. Harvest Public Media’s Dana Cronin reports.

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Kansas City Today is hosted by Nomin Ujiyediin. It is produced by Byron Love and KCUR Studios and edited by Gabe Rosenberg and Lisa Rodriguez.

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As a newscaster and a host of a daily news podcast, I want to deliver the most important and interesting news of the day in an engaging and easily understandable way. No matter where you live in the metro or what you’re interested in, I want you to learn something from each newscast or podcast – and maybe even give you something to talk about at the dinner table. You can email me at nomin@kcur.org and find me on Twitter @NominUJ.
As an on-demand producer, I am focused on using my skills and experiences across multiple digital applications, platforms and media fields to create community focused audio, video and on-demand products for KCUR Studios. The media that I produce aims to inform, entertain and connect with the Kansas City metro area as we continue to learn from each other. Email me at byronlove@kcur.org.
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