A report released by the child advocacy group Voices for Alabama’s Children reminds us that poverty remains a significant challenge for far too many Alabamians.
The organization’s most recent Alabama Kids Count Data Book reveals that about 25 percent of the state’s children live in poverty stricken households, with half of those in families with less than $1,000 per month in income.
In this season between Thanksgiving and Christmas, there are ample opportunities to give to the less fortunate among us, and many aid organizations count on increased support during the holidays to buoy their programs throughout the year. That’s an important consideration, as poverty isn’t seasonal.
There are strategies to help lift families out of poverty, but there is no quick fix, just as there is no single culprit. Job growth is a key factor, but if those jobs don’t grow in the most impoverished areas, they’re out of reach for many who would hope to find employment or better-paying jobs. Many areas of the state, such as Geneva County, where child poverty is as high as 33 percent, the jobs lost in the decline of the textile industry haven’t been adequately replaced.
On the bright side, economic recruiters and education leaders work diligently to lure job providers and develop job training programs to adapt a workforce for whatever jobs may materialize.
The challenge is daunting, but not insurmountable. Meanwhile, those who can should consider supporting those programs that give aid to the disadvantaged.