More must be done to help children living in poverty

Letter to the Editor–Star Ledger News Paper
Author- Alison G. Yablonowitz, Board Chair- United Way of Greater Union County
 
Children are our greatest asset but for the 333,000 children living in poverty in New Jersey, according to Kids Count, their future doesn't appear so bright. Almost one-quarter of our nation's children are living in poverty. That translates to 16,087,000 kids who are expected to excel daily.
 
However, there seems to be a disconnect between the facts and reality. Poor academic performance, lackluster citizenry and increased incarceration have all been linked to poverty. These indicators have identified the problem, yet the tepid response of children living in poverty, on a national level, has not been addressed with the sense of urgency it deserves.

Countless hardworking low-income families want the best for their children, but just can't seem to make ends meet. The rise in low-income families seeking refuge in homeless shelters have become a reality for many, as well.
 
When families suffer, children, communities and the nation suffers. If we can see poverty as a threat to our national security, then the urgency it demands must become a societal priority. Someone working 40 hours a week should be able to afford food, shelter, healthcare and quality education for their children.
 
Anything less than that poses a dangerous threat to society.