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To support breastfeeding advocates and parents around the country, WKKF grantee Center for WorkLife Law launched a free COVID-19 legal helpline to help ensure equitable access to time, space and privacy for nursing mothers in the workplace. Since the pandemic began, they have fielded four times as many caregiving-related calls from women who are desperate to keep their jobs and care for their families. “Mothers already were at the breaking point in the United States,” the Center’s Director Joan Williams says. “… Just as we don’t expect workers to get to work without physical infrastructure, like bridges and roads, we can’t expect workers to get to work without a care infrastructure.”

WKKF investment partner Everytable and the National Health Foundation are working together to provide healthy meals to people experiencing homelessness. Everytable is a grab-and-go restaurant company that prices food by zip codes, so access to affordable, fresh, healthy meals is available in all communities. During the pandemic, they’ve gone even further to help some of the hardest hit during these difficult times, raising funds to establish more locations in their home base of Southern California with plans to expand nationwide in the future.

Hmong American Farmers Association (HAFA), a WKKF grantee, is gearing up to purchase 155 acres in Minnesota’s Dakota County. This is a significant move for HAFA, which will provide infrastructure, operational, educational and market access opportunities to small-farm, member families. HAFA is able to purchase the land with $2 million included in the state’s $1.9 billion infrastructure borrowing package. Through collective farm business development, HAFA is building paths to community wealth creation, working toward a sustainable and fair food economy for all. 

The work of translators is often undervalued, as explored in a thoughtful opinion piece in the Mexican magazine Gatopardo. The author highlights the extraordinary experts and activists in the field that she met at a national gathering of Indigenous interpreters and translators, organized by the Centro Profesional Indígena de Asesoría, Defensa y Traducción (Indigenous Professional Center for Counsel, Defense and Translation). WKKF supports the center’s work to improve access to justice for Indigenous people and communities in southern Mexico.

Friends of the Children, an organization working to end generational poverty across the country, has received WKKF support to establish a new chapter in Detroit. This unique program, which has seen success in other cities, connects vulnerable children with paid, professional mentors for 12 years. The long-term mentorships begin when children are 4 years old and continue through their high school graduation. The organization also supports the children’s caregivers by connecting them to resources, strengthening their parenting skills and encouraging them to get and stay involved in their children’s education. Find a local chapter near you! 

There’s a #2Gen tool for that! If you want to improve outcomes for children and caregivers alike, be sure to explore the 2Gen Toolbox put together by WKKF grantee, Aspen Institute’s Community Strategies Group, in partnership with the Ascend Network. Designed for use by local practitioners, federal policymakers, researchers, funders and more, this library has more than 300 resources that support those adopting and advancing family-centered outcomes for children and their caregivers.

Driver’s license suspension, and the subsequent fines and fees attached to it, can be devastating for individuals and families, limiting employment options and financial stability. “… A mother of three was recently able to get her license back only because of the 2020 stimulus check. The suspension ‘had kept her from driving, from going grocery shopping, to medical appointments for her children, and to work.’’ In New Mexico alone, more than 200,000 individuals had their license suspended between 2018 and 2020, with 90% of them losing their license for failure to pay a fine or fee or failure to appear in court. In response to this significant challenge, WKKF grantee Fines and Fees Justice Center has launched a campaign to work with coalition partners to reduce fines and eliminate fees in the criminal justice system.

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