Tuesday, Sep 20, 2022
We Know What Works: How Covid Showed Ways to End Poverty
The following article was published September 19, 2022, by Public News Service.
Childhood poverty was cut nearly in half during the Covid pandemic due to expanded federal programs like the child tax credit, and stimulus payments, which also prevented some five million Americans from falling below the poverty line.
Advocates for the poor argued those gains are already being lost since the most helpful programs were not extended, and high inflation is now impacting families as well.
Joe Diamond, executive director of the Massachusetts Association for Community Action, a coalition of some 23 community action agencies, said advocates are using lessons learned during the pandemic to help improve peoples' lives.
"We were inspired by the resilience of the people that we served, and we also were inspired by what we found to be the effectiveness of the programs that were able to run during the pandemic," Diamond remarked. "We know that our mission now also includes doing our very best to sustain those programs and to continue to work as hard as we can towards of our goal of reducing poverty."
Advocates suggested strategies could include the creation of a state-funded child tax credit, providing an adequate guaranteed income, and supporting extensive outreach to ensure every family receives the benefits they need, and to which they're entitled.
Tax reform and public benefits are not the only answer.
Read the full article.