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Clinton offers plan to cut child poverty in half in a dozen years

Clinton offers plan to cut child poverty in half in a dozen years

Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton offered a plan to improve childhood nutrition and set a goal to reduce by half the 12 million youngsters living in poverty over the next dozen years.
The package of proposals includes a "comprehensive" early education initiative that starts with nurse's visits for pregnant women, lets children begin the government Head Start pre-school program earlier and calls for universal pre-kindergarten programs.
The New York senator also said she would deal with childhood hunger by putting in place a food safety net, and give children "greater access to healthy, fresh food."
She spelled out her proposals in a speech Thursday at the child care development center on Ohio University's southern campus, and toured a Head Start program serving economically challenged southern Ohio. It was part of her effort to focus the Democratic campaign on bedrock economic issues.
"You should have a president again who actually gets up thinking about you every day," Clinton told about 200 people at the event. "I have spent a lifetime working to help children, which is my first passion. If our children get off to a good start so much of the other stuff is taken care of."
Clinton aides said the new programs would carry an annual pricetag of $5 billion (euro3.31 billion) to $6 billion (euro3.97 billion). A significant portion of her plan comes by expanding existing programs. She would cover the cost by toughening tax enforcement to collect money currently owed but not paid.
Clinton said she would direct her agriculture secretary to develop a plan to end childhood hunger. The nutrition effort would come largely through signing up more people for government food programs and expanding benefits. She argued her program is comprehensive, dealing with both parents and children.
"We have to focus on children and families, it has to go hand in hand," said Clinton. She heard stories from women struggling to raise children and get by financially.
"I have to say I don't know how single moms do it," said Clinton.
Clinton argues that roughly 12.9 million children live in poverty, with about 5 million living in extreme poverty. That means their families have incomes of less than half the federal poverty level.
Free school breakfast programs would be universal in low-income neighborhoods under her proposal. She also would double the size of a summer nutrition program aimed at feeding low-income children when they are not in school.
Clinton also said she would launch an effort to get junk food out of schools. She would require schools that get federal funding through the school lunch or breakfast programs to offer only food that meets or surpasses USDA standards.


Updated : 2021-05-15 23:40 GMT+08:00