LINCOLN–(KFOR May 28)–With unemployment at record levels in Nebraska, the U.S.D.A will step in to help provide food assistance for those who need help during the COVID-19 pandemic.
On Thursday, USDA undersecretary for marketing and former Nebraska state agriculture Greg Ibach said over one-million pounds, at a value of $1.3-million, to Nebraska food banks for distribution thru June for those that are unemployed or need assistance. With new protocol in place at meatpacking plants, the likelihood of community spread of COVID-19 “is virtually nil”, according to Ibach. He said (the spread) is no greater than going out into the community or to a grocery store.
When you look at the COVID-19 data at Nebraska meatpacking plants, there have been 2,985 positive cases, with 11 deaths and 138 people hospitalized.
After tourists spent $3.5-billion in Nebraska throughout 2019, the state was on a “roll” heading into 2020, according to Nebraska Tourism Commission executive director John Ricks. But when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Ricks said the effects have been “rampant and devestating” on the state’s tourism industry. Ricks says looking at the year-over-year in March, visitor expenditures dropped by an estimated $156-million.
Starting Monday, June 1, the Nebraska Passport program will launch for a 10th year.
Tourists spent $3.5B in 2019 in Nebraska. Industry has been hit hard by COVID-19. (generated $228M in local tax revenue, industry employs about 40,000 Nebraskans)
Effects have been ‘rampant and devastating’ on Nebraska’s tourism industry. Estimate that visitor expenditures dropped about $156M year-over-year in March. Won’t project future tourism losses b/c too many variables.
Ricks says for the 10th year, the Nebraska Passport program will start Monday, June 1.