BDN Letter: Find real solutions to poverty

This blog post is from an April 1, 2016 letter to the editor written by MCA Board Member Shawn Yardley published in the Bangor Daily News. Check out the original letter here.

Created by the Maine Children’s Alliance using data from the KIDS COUNT Data Center – a project of the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

Finding real solutions to poverty is in the best interest of our children and state. Preparing Maine for a prosperous future begins with ensuring our youngest residents get what they need in order to become healthy adults who will work to strengthen our communities and build our economy.

The March 19 BDN editorial on Maine’s TANF reforms clearly outlines what’s at stake when our government makes changes to successful programs. In the case of TANF, it is 10,000 children.

At a time when extreme child poverty is on the rise in Maine, lawmakers should be focused on policies that reverse these troubling trends.

The TANF program, at its core, is intended to protect and improve the lives of children. The TANF program is not what creates poverty; it is what prevents our children living in deep poverty from going without basic essentials such as shelter, diapers, heat and the needed over-the-counter medicines not covered by any other source when they’re sick. TANF fills the gap resulting from low wages and equips parents with the tools they need to get and keep a job.

Reforming the TANF program should involve improvements that effectively help parents and children get out and stay out of poverty.

One thought on “BDN Letter: Find real solutions to poverty

  1. As children in poverty increases, fewer parents will be able to go to work helped by Child Care Block Grant because the administration lost $800,000 as a result of their non-compliant federal application. This administration is a total disaster for children and families in Maine.


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