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Food stamp usage, child poverty on the rise in N.J.

childpoverty111911_optBY BOB HOLT
NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM

The national poverty rate is at 15.3 percent, the unemployment rate is around 9 percent, and people are continuing to feel the pinch in New Jersey. According to just released census figures, about one out of 15 state households received food stamps in 2010.

NorthJersey.com reported that while New Jersey came in at No. 2 in household income last year, 215,000 households got food stamps, an increase of 23.2 percent from 2009. Also, in 2010, one of every seven children was determined poor.

The US recession started back in 2007, and the number of people living in poverty has reached an all-time high. According to PressTV, child poverty rates are now at 25 percent or higher in ten states.

"Children who live in poverty are more likely than their peers to have cognitive and behavioral difficulties, to complete fewer years of education and to experience more years of unemployment as they grow older," the Census Bureau said, according to Reuters.

2 million children were living in poverty in California, and1.8 million children were considered poor living in Texas. New Hampshire’s child poverty rate was lowest at 10 percent.

New Jersey's food stamp usage was lower than in all but one state. Patricia Espy, executive director of the Center for Food Action in Englewood said food stamps average out to $1.45 per meal and for some as little as $16 a month.

In New Jersey, 9.8 percent of white children and 6.7 percent of Asians were living in poverty last year compared to 27.8 percent for blacks and 26.6 percent for Hispanics. New Jersey’s overall poverty rate climbed from 9.4 percent in 2009 to 10.3 percent in 2010.

 

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