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Rush Introduces Resolution to Support the Designation of May as National Child Poverty Prevention Month

May 14, 2021

One in six children in America live below the poverty level; American Rescue Plan will cut child poverty in half and lift 15,300 children from poverty in Illinois's First District

WASHINGTON — Today, U.S. Representative Bobby L. Rush (D-Ill.) introduced a resolution expressing support for the designation of this May as "National Child Poverty Prevention Month" to recognize and raise awareness of the impact of poverty among American children and support efforts to reduce the number of children suffering from poverty.

"Child poverty is not only a tragedy, but it is an indictment of our failure to adequately care and provide for the most vulnerable among us. I have long supported efforts to reduce child poverty, and, recently, I was proud to vote for a landmark expansion of the Child Tax Credit in the American Rescue Plan, which will cut child poverty in half and lift 15,300 children in Illinois's First District from poverty," said Rush.

One in six children in America — a total of nearly twelve million kids — live below the poverty level. The COVID-19 health and economic crisis has only exacerbated these numbers, with the percentage of children living in poverty increasing from 18.7 percent prior to the pandemic to 21.4 percent in August 2020, according to a study from Columbia University. Recent studies also suggest that food insecurity during COVID-19 has increased among families with children by an astonishing 280 percent.

It is estimated that the impacts of child poverty — including lost productivity, worsened health, and increased crime — cost the nation more than $700 billion dollars annually, or about 3.5 percent of total U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

"Poverty is a serious issue that diminishes the quality of living for millions of U.S. children each year. Many of our nation's pressing challenges can be traced back to poverty as the source. The experiences encountered by children who live in poverty can be traumatic and can produce negative outcomes extending well into adulthood, negatively impacting families for generations. Children who experience poverty are more likely to be poor years later, even by the time they reach age 30," said Lillian Harris, Founder and President of Advocates for Adolescent Mothers, a nonprofit that provides mentoring and financial support for young mothers as they earn a college degree. "As a passionate anti-poverty advocate, I have long looked forward to the designation of National Child Poverty Prevention Month, and I thank Congressman Rush for introducing this important resolution."

The full text of the resolution is available HERE.

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