SPOTLIGHT on Poverty

Children — 22% of our population, 100% of our future

Vermonters Come Together to Address Economic Hardship

According to the most recent figures, more than 60,000 Vermonters are living below the poverty threshold and many more low-income Vermonters are struggling to make ends meet. Children remain the poorest age-group and disproportionately suffer the consequences of economic hardship. Growing up in poverty affects their health and learning, disadvantages that can prevent them from fulfilling their full potential.

In 2007, Vermont took an important step in addressing poverty by establishing the Vermont Child Poverty Council. The goal of the Council is to cut child poverty in half in ten years. In early 2009, the Child Poverty Council released its report, Improving the Odds for Kids, and the findings were featured at the Governor’s Pathways to Economic Stability Summit held on April 6th at the Vermont Statehouse.

The Summit focused on the importance of government, business and community working together to create shared prosperity and bring economic security to all Vermonters. The Vermont Child Poverty Council’s Co-Chairs, Representative Ann Pugh and Senator Doug Racine highlighted the challenges facing poor and low-income Vermonters and the opportunities we have to address the growing economic disparities in our state.

Investing in programs that help struggling Vermonters overcome barriers to economic security strengthens our families, communities, workforce, economy, and our state. We need to make sure that the promise of opportunity is kept for all.

Click here for a Times Argus story about the Summit. The Summit also featured reports on hunger, homelessness, work support policies and workforce development, all of which can be found at the official website.

Spotlight on Vermont’s Kids

Spotlight on Vermont’s Kids is about the needs of our children and finding ways to meet those needs, the challenges they face, the opportunities we have to support and nurture them, and how their wellbeing is important to us all. Continuing to invest in our children’s wellbeing is more important than ever in these difficult economic times. That is our surest route to the best possible future for them and our state.

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