The number of children living in poverty in Wisconsin climbed almost four-percent over the last three years. Numbers from the U.S. Census Bureau show almost 17 percent of kids living in the state are now considered “poor.”
Ken Taylor with the Wisconsin Council on Children and Families says the recession is to blame for the increase. He says job losses and reduced wages or hours mean families are bringing home less money. Funding for programs designed to keep families financially afloat have also decreased.
AUDIO: Ken Taylor, WCCF (:19)
Taylor says poverty has a big impact on the growth and development of children. He says they have a hard time concentrating in school because they are worried about getting a meal at home or even where they are going to sleep at night. It also increases the possibility of getting involved in criminal activity.
The problem is not only increasing in low-income parts of the state. Taylor says even children in affluent areas are falling into poverty as their parents lose their jobs and homes.
Mike Kemmeter, WHBY