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In Florida, 1 our of 4 kids lived in poverty in 2013. The 2013 data was the last year the Casey study could examine. Florida was ranked 37th in the country in overall “child well-being,” which measured indicators such as education, economics, and health. The state’s ranking reflects high instances of children falling behind in school and living in single-parent families without secure employment. The report also showed that nearly 250,000 more Florida children were living in poverty in 2013 than in 2008. That year, amid the Great Recession, 721,000 kids were impoverished in Florida. The Children’s Board of Hills-borough County saw a 58 percent increase in people who used its services from 2013 to 2014. From 2013 to now, the Pasco County School District saw the number of families with homeless students rise 19 percent, from 1,285 to 1,582. These families lack permanent housing. They often move three to seven times a year, jumping between family and friends’ houses, weekly hotels and their cars. School cafeterias may present the clearest picture of child poverty. More than 50 percent of students in Hillsborough, Pinellas and Pasco counties receive free or reduced-price meals. That’s more than 221,000 kids across the bay area. The greatest share is in Hillsborough, where 61 percent of the county’s students — 127,778 children — qualify for help.

In the United States today, the wealthiest country in the history of the world, 47 million Americans are living in poverty. Almost 22 percent of American children are poor and we have the highest child poverty rate of almost any major country on earth. Poverty is an issue we must collectively address. In 2011, the American Journal of Public Health found that 130,000 people died in just one year alone as a result of poverty.

Our goal is to create a system that every community can replicate on its own, with the goal of eradicating poverty in our individual communities, one step at a time. We need you to assist us in making this happen. Our goal is to begin with aiding 35 families every Sunday with brunch and grow from there iA.


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