Fighting Poverty with Faith 2010
This October, the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, along with our partners at Catholic Charities USA and the National Council of Churches in Christ, launched the third annual “Fighting Poverty with Faith” mobilization. This year’s effort, which involves more than 50 national faith-based organizations, will focus new attention on the causes of poverty, highlight strategies to reduce poverty, and aggressively seek new economic opportunities for the nation’s most vulnerable. It is the goal of Fighting Poverty with Faith to not just help our neighbors in need but to influence the way our national and state leaders address poverty through public policy.
Fighting Poverty with Faith launched this year on October 5th with a national teleconference with the White House. We discussed the important role that faith-based organizations play in fighting poverty and heard from Joshua DuBois, Executive Director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, and Martha Coven from the White House Domestic Policy Council. This was a great opportunity for those in the field to hear about anti-poverty initiatives on the President’s agenda, and to inform the White House about the significant impacts of poverty experienced in our communities and the necessity for policies that will bring needed help to low-income families.
The Climate Gap in the U.S.
"It's the poorest of the poor in the world, and this includes poor people even in prosperous societies, who are going to be the worst hit." Rajendra Pachuari, chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
How You Can Help Pass the Child Nutrition Bill
On August 5th, just hours before adjourning for summer recess, the Senate passed its version of the child nutrition reauthorization bill, the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 (S.3307), by unanimous consent. This piece of legislation provides $4.5 billion in nutrition and access improvements to the 10-year reauthorization bill. Still, in a last minute change, in order to pay for the bill, the Senate decided to cut future benefits in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as Food Stamps). The $2.2 billion in SNAP money would reduce SNAP benefits in future years, taking away some of the increase enacted in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). The JCPA was incredibly disappointed to see that the Senate decided to pay for one important nutrition program by making cuts to another. In addition, though the Senate bill is an important first step to final passage, it lacks funding for a number of important programs, especially programs that increase access and make it easier for low-income children to access nutritious meals.
The Truth about Older Americans in Poverty
Throughout the most recent recession, much of the focus has been on children, families, and workers. But poverty among seniors remains a serious and continual problem in this country. Economic stability issues facing low-income seniors have gotten worst over the years. While some progress has been made prior to the recession, beginning in 2006, just like every other subset of the population, older Americans have been harmed by the recession. We also have an ever increasing senior population, with baby boomers approaching 60+ in record numbers. From 1946-1964, 78 million baby boomers were born. Now they are starting to reach retirement age. By 2030, when the first baby boomers reach 84, the number of Americans over 65 will have grown by 75percent. At that time, 20 percent of the population will be over 65.
One cannot assume that all of these seniors currently live in economically stable households. Quite the contrary-nearly one in ten adults age 65 and above live in a family with income below the official U.S. poverty line, or federal poverty level (FPL). The AARP Public Policy Institute released a report, Older Americans in Poverty: A Snapshot , in April 2010 that details the various factors that contribute to seniors living in poverty and the services on which they rely. The report states, "The fact that 3.7 million older adults do not have sufficient cash income to meet their basic expenses too often escapes attention."
The Recession Generation
When it comes to the most recent recession, most of the public focus has been on the current problems facing Americans: care for the unemployed, shortages of supplies at food banks, rising energy costs, and state budget crises. But a new report, The Recession Generation: Preventing Long-term Damage from Child Poverty and Young Adult Joblessness, by the Coalition of Human Needs (CHN) suggests that our lawmakers must create more forward thinking policies in order to combat the long lasting effects of the recession.
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