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Monday, June 29, 2015

How to lower the poverty rate

The poverty rate would be lower if all families with children participated in the anti-poverty programs for which they are eligible, according to a new study by the Brookings Institute, drawn from a recent Urban Institute analysis of data,  Deep poverty could  be significantly lower. Large percentages of children and adults eligible for assistance through SNAP, WIC, free or reduced-price school meals, and EITC don’t take advantage of the help, mainly due to barriers standing in their way, rather than personal preference or limited access to church, community, or local government services. According to the latest data, 17% of those eligible for both the school lunch program and SNAP don’t enroll in those programs; 20% of Americans eligible for the EITC don’t sign up; and fully 37% of mothers and children who are entitled to take part in WIC have not enrolled. The report suggests streamlining applications, more outreach, and initiatives like the Community Eligibility Provision would help increase program participation.
Source: The Fiscal Times, 6/1/2/15, Reduce Poverty