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Census: Poverty Rising – 1 in 5 Kids NY Living in Poverty

September 30, 2010

NEW YORK - New details from the latest U.S. census show that the Great Recession has boosted the child poverty rate in New York by 1 percent, with one in five New York children living in poverty in 2009 - a total of 853,000 kids. Nationwide, the poverty rate mirrored New York's.

The problem extends to even relatively well-off suburbs like Long Island, where Suffolk County lawmaker DuWayne Gregory (D-15LD) will be participating in the 2010 Kids Convention. The event will address issues like child poverty, he says.

"Children often feel the brunt of a lot of things that are going on, and it's not by their choice, decision or error. So we have to ensure that they are getting the services that they need."

The 2010 Kids Convention will be held on Oct. 23 at Farmingdale State College, sponsored by Every Child Matters Long Island.

Every Child Matters director Shea Levin says the Kids Convention will be a chance for local lawmakers to get direct input from families and children: "To see where they need to put more funding, what policies need to be created, to hear the children out on what's important to them, and to let their parents know that they are doing something for kids."

The increase in child poverty means more demand for services from nonprofits. Gregory sponsored legislation this summer to speed up payments to those agencies. He says Suffolk County was referring people for help, but often holding off on payments for nine months and more.

"We found out the nonprofits had to take out lines of credit just to keep their doors open and to run the programs that we've asked them to run, just waiting for the contract to come through. That's the impetuous for why I put in the Prompt Payment Bill."

The event starts at 10 a.m. at 2350 Broadhollow Rd., Farmingdale. More information and online conference registration is available at www.everychildmatters.org.

Mike Clifford, Public News Service - NY