Magazine article The Christian Century

Child Poverty at 30-Year High, Says CDF

Magazine article The Christian Century

Child Poverty at 30-Year High, Says CDF

Article excerpt

Child poverty reached its highest level in 30 years during 1994, with one in four youngsters living below the poverty line, the Children's Defense Fund, a children's advocacy group, reported March 28. Moreover, the Washington-based private, nonprofit lobbying group stated that one in three children can expect to fall below the poverty line at some time before age 16. The poverty line for a family of three is an annual income of less than $12,590, according to the federal Health and Human Services Department.

Marian Wright Edelman, president. of the Defense Fund, predicted that efforts by the Republican-controlled Congress to dismantle existing welfare safety nets will likely exacerbate the problem. The CDF's latest criticism of Republican policy coincided with the release of its State of America's children Yearbook 1995, an update of the group's annual review of the condition of young people in America.

"These shameful numbers have small, individual faces and feelings and suffering," said Edelman. "It is un-American that millions more children will be left behind if the House leaders succeed in ripping apart federally guaranteed child protections." The CDF, which often works with liberal and mainline religious groups, estimated that legislation approved by the House of Representatives will cut about $46 billion from cash, housing and food subsidies for needy and disabled children.

Under the new system in which states would make welfare allotments, some children would lose benefits when additional youngsters become needy in times of recession or natural disaster, the CDF contends. …

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