Food pantry demand up sharply across Kansas due to virus
Posted May 09, 2020 10:00 PM
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Operators of food assistance programs across Kansas are serving hundreds of additional families that are struggling financially due to the fallout from the coronavirus.
The increased need comes at a time when donations are down, according to Kansas Food Bank CEO Brian Walker.
The food bank last week began surveying 164 partner agencies across the state. The 104 responses as of Tuesday indicated a roughly 30% increase in need due to the pandemic.
Walker believes the need isn't going away anytime soon, even as businesses begin operating again and some employees return to work.
“We don’t want people to think because the economy has opened back up and you can go to a restaurant that, you know, everybody is going back to work and people aren’t going to need assistance. That’s just not the case," Walker said.
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — Kansas’ top two contenders in the Senate election and competitive congressional races will be getting majority of their money from out-of-state donors, according to an analysis by the Center for Responsive Politics.
Democrat Barbara Bollier and Republican Kris Kobach have received roughly two-thirds of their individual contributions from non-Kansan donors. The amount excludes donations from political action committees.
Democratic Rep. Sharice Davids and Republican Rep. Steve Watkins have also received donations from out of state. Both are top targets for the opposing party in 2020.
Kansas Republican chairman Mike Kukelman says he’s concerned that so much money is flowing into the state.
Bollier, a state senator from Johnson County, raised $1.58 million or 63.5% from donors who live outside Kansas.
Kobach, the former Kansas secretary of state, has received less overall out-of-state cash, but it accounts for an even greater percentage of his fundraising with $292,521 or 69.2% of his individual contributions.
“Conservatives nationally are supporting me because they want to help Kansans put someone with a proven conservative record in the Senate,” Kobach said in a statement.
Davids raised $1.14 million or 63.7 % from out of state. Her top metros include Kansas City, New York and Washington.
Watkins, the freshman Republican from Topeka, received $359,568 or 69.2 % from out of state.
Republicans have attacked Bollier and Davids for their out-of-state fundraising, but they’ve largely ignored Kobach and Watkins’ similar reliance on outside largesse.