I recently attended the Kansas Conference on Poverty hosted by the Kansas Association of Community Action Programs. They do a good job of bringing state and national speakers to discuss the concerns about poverty as well as solutions in our state. We spend a lot of time discussing those same issues in our office. I want to share some of the things that I was surprised to learn.
It is the 50th anniversary of the War on Poverty. In 1967 the poverty rate was 26% and in 2012 it was 16%.
The average family spends $2000 a year on food they will never eat.
25% of water is used to grow crops that will never be eaten.
In Kansas in 2010 20% of children living below the poverty level were being helped through the state benefit program. In 2011 it was 9%.
TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) benefits have not changed in 17 years.
No public benefits will cover the cost of disposable diapers. Children cannot go to daycare without disposable diapers.
In Kansas a single mother with 2 children working a part-time minimum wage job makes too much money to qualify for Medicaid. Most employer based health insurance is not available to part-time employees.
Everyone up to 130% of poverty level is eligible for Medicaid.
States that expanded Medicaid decreased the number of uninsured by 29%. Those that didn’t increased the number of uninsured by 5.9%.