MT Families Face 'Impossible Decisions' During Pandemic
Thursday, December 17, 2020
HELENA, Mont. -- Montana families are struggling during the pandemic, putting the well-being of children in the state at risk.
A new report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation finds one in seven Montana families are struggling to put food on the table and nearly one in seven isn't confident it'll be able to pay the rent or mortgage on time.
Xanna Burg, Kids Count Montana coordinator, said households are faced with impossible decisions on how to prioritize children's most basic needs.
"As families are navigating this crisis, there really is clear evidence that we need policymakers to act now, to prioritize the needs of children and families so that no Montanan is going hungry, without adequate housing or the health care they need," Burg urged.
The report also found one in ten Montana families doesn't have health insurance and one in five reported feeling depressed or helpless in the past week.
Leslie Boissiere, vice president of external affairs for the Foundation, said communities of color are experiencing higher levels of insecurity in every marker during the pandemic.
"The pandemic has laid bare and really exacerbated racial and ethnic inequities in this country," Boissiere contended. "And we've seen that Black, Latino and native communities in particular have been hard hit."
Burg stressed Montana leaders need to continue supporting Medicaid expansion, which provides health care for about 90,000 adults.
"Montana must ensure that parents have health insurance even if they've lost their jobs because parents who are healthy have healthier children," Boissiere emphasized.
The report recommends leaders prioritize racial and ethnic equity; help ensure families are stable financial through programs such as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families; and ensure schools are better funded.
get more stories like this via email
A coalition of more than 100 local elected officials is pleading for action on the Public Lands Act, a bill that would add protections for more than …
It's been nearly a year since North Dakota began collecting racial data on people accused of committing crimes - a process that paves the way for a re…
Health and Wellness
Excessive screen time can cause a host of negative side effects in kids, but as some Indiana schools go virtual because of the omicron variant…
The second year of the 134th Ohio General Assembly officially starts today, as both the state House and Senate convene. One of the most urgent tasks …
South Dakota is seeing another round of below-freezing temperatures. As folks bundle up, Salvation Army chapters hope they'll consider donating …
Groups representing young people in Montana hope to stop a slate of election laws from going into effect before the state's primary in June. The …
Colorado and other states are hoarding more than $6 billion intended for struggling families, according to new analysis. In 2020, Colorado denied …
As many Granite Staters struggle to pay ever-increasing rent prices, the New Hampshire court system is offering mediation for landlords and their …