skip to main content

Monday, May 29, 2023

play newscast audioPlay

Advocates call for a climate peace clause in U.S.-E.U. trade talks, negotiations yield a tentative debt ceiling deal, an Idaho case unravels federal water protections, and a wet spring eases Iowa's drought.

play newscast audioPlay

Gold Star families gather to remember loved ones on Memorial Day, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy says the House will vote on a debt ceiling bill this week and America's mayors lay out their strategies for summertime public safety.

play newscast audioPlay

The growing number of "maternity care deserts" makes having a baby increasingly dangerous for rural Americans, a Colorado project is connecting neighbor to neighbor in an effort to help those suffering with mental health issues, and a school district in Maine is using teletherapy to tackle a similar challenge.

Pandemic Widens Racial Gap in Meeting VA Families' Basic Needs

play audio
Play

Wednesday, December 16, 2020   

RICHMOND, Va. - As the number of coronavirus deaths surpasses 300,000 in the United States, new research shows families with children are suffering from the unprecedented turmoil and economic crisis set off by the pandemic.

According to a new report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the pandemic has uncovered alarming trends in meeting basic needs.

Lauren Snelling, research director for the group Voices for Virginia's Children, said the report finds Virginia's communities of color are especially struggling with food insecurity, mental health and unemployment.

"For Virginia families, there's about 13% that said they often did not have enough to eat - but for Black families, that rate is nearly double," she said. "When we look at employment losses, 46% of Virginia families have lost some sort of employment income, but the rate is almost 60% for Black families."

The report also found 21% of all Americans reported feeling "down, depressed or hopeless" in recent weeks. In Virginia, that number is 19%, indicating a widespread need for access to mental-health care.

Snelling said 16% of Virginians described themselves as having "little or no confidence" that they can make their next rent or mortgage payment. That's near the national average of 18%. However, she noted that the Commonwealth, especially the Richmond area, is known for its high eviction rates.

"We know that some localities in Virginia have some of the highest eviction rates in the nation," she said, "and this is really due to redlining and other discriminatory practices, and systematic racism that led to a higher concentration of poverty and wealth gaps for many communities of color. So, it's all interconnected."

With Congress still negotiating a stimulus deal, Leslie Boissiere, vice president for external affairs at the Casey Foundation, said policymakers need to prioritize the COVID-19 response to ensure children have what they need to survive and thrive.

"We have to start with those programs that work and that have a proven track record," she said, "and do the things that are required to provide for the basic needs of kids in this crisis."

The report recommended pushing for more federal support for programs such as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.

Disclosure: Annie E. Casey Foundation contributes to our fund for reporting on Children's Issues, Criminal Justice, Early Childhood Education, Education, Juvenile Justice, Welfare Reform. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


get more stories like this via email
A new ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court means ephemeral streams, such as this one in the mountains east of San Diego, are no longer protected by the Waters of the United States rule. (Chris Hunkeler/Flickr)

Environment

play sound

The U.S. Supreme Court has gutted federal protections for much of the country's wetlands. The court found that the Waters of the United States rule…


Environment

play sound

Environmental advocates say the U.S. Supreme Court has dealt a major blow to the Clean Water Act and to Maine's ability to protect some of its most …

Environment

play sound

A U.S. Supreme Court case that began in Idaho has weakened protections across the nation under the Clean Water Act. The justices on Thursday handed …


As workers try to move forward from the pandemic's aftereffects, labor leaders, including the Minnesota Association of Professional Employees, say protections and stronger benefits should help get their careers back on track. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

Minnesota legislators adopted a lot of major policies in this year's session, including actions to support workers in many different fields. State …

Environment

play sound

The nonprofit Trust for Public Land has published its annual ParkScore rankings, and some area cities are high on the list. Washington, D.C.…

The "Water Year" typically starts on Oct. 1, and represents the time when new water Iowa receives goes to help the next year's growing season. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

play sound

For the first time in nearly three years, the widespread drought that has had Iowa in its grip is predicted to end. The latest drought outlook says …

Health and Wellness

play sound

As the opioid epidemic continues to take its toll, a Virginia group is working to keep people safe. The Virginia Harm Reduction Coalition in Roanoke …

Social Issues

play sound

A new report outlined the importance of student debt relief to workers in New York and across the country. An American Federation of Teachers …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021