N.J. youths struggle against poverty
Children in New Jersey have made strides in education and health, but must still cope with troubling levels of poverty, according to the 2012 KIDS COUNT Data Book.
“Our sense is that low-income families are really struggling,” says Ceil Zalkind, head of our New Jersey member organization Advocates for Advocates for Children of New Jersey, in an article for the Asbury Park Press. “They’re having a much harder time bouncing back (from the recession) than the rest of the state.”
The Data Book, from our partners at the Annie E. Casey Foundation, tracks child well-being across several indicators, including health, economic security, education and family and community. In its national report, the Foundation found that what ails New Jersey is affecting much of the country: public health services are covering more kids and education stats like graduation rates are up, but poverty threatens to undermine everything.
Our own Senior Vice President of Programs Joe Theissen is quoted on the worrying lack of support for low-income families as government budget stay tight: “On a national level, ‘the safety net is fraying,’ said Joe Theissen…who cites threatened cuts in food stamps as an example.”
Congress needs to hear from ordinary families that they should do more to bolster the safety net in these tough times. Take our pledge to advocate for children and families!