When Children Are Caught in the Cycle of Poverty
Mascia, Jennifer. New York Times, Dec. 18, 2010.
The economic collapse has taken a toll on vast segments of society, but it has affected some groups disproportionately. Among those are children.
In New York City, 30 percent of children are living in poverty. One out of every five children relies on local food banks or pantries for sustenance, and of these children, 79 percent rely on the National School Lunch Program.
Poverty stymies performance in school and negatively affects mental and physical health, experts say. Poor children have higher rates of asthma, are more likely to suffer a higher rate of cognitive delays and developmental disorders.
Absent intervention, these children will face great difficulty in transcending the disadvantages of their early lives and, as adults, are likely to perpetuate a cycle of poverty that has consumed generations in areas like East New York, Brooklyn; Jamaica, Queens; Morrisania in the Bronx; East Harlem; and Port Richmond on Staten Island.
Such an outcome is not acceptable to advocates like Richard R. Buery Jr., president and chief executive of the Children’s Aid Society, who said, “Those who love our country, and believe in its ideals, cannot be satisfied until the promise of equal opportunity is made true for all of our children.”