On Thursday, September 17, Advocates for Ohio’s Future joined coalition members at the Ohio Statehouse for a press conference on the newly released 2014 national and statewide poverty data from the Census Bureau. Lisa Hamler-Fugitt, executive director of the Ohio Association of Foodbanks stated, “The economic recovery has not reached everyone. For low- and middle-income households, things aren’t getting better.”
In 2014, 15.8 percent of Ohioans lived in poverty, a rate not significantly changed from the 16 percent poverty rate in 2013. 22.9 percent of Ohio children remained in poverty, a rate unchanged from 2013. Ohio’s poverty rates are higher than the national rates of 14.8 percent for all Americans and 21.1 percent of American children.
Speakers at the press conference noted that underemployment and low-wage jobs contribute to the poverty rate, as Hamler-Fugitt said, “The jobs we’re gaining back are far too often contingent, part-time, temporary and low wage, and often without benefits.”
Participating coalition members advocated for proven health and human service programs that help low and middle-income Ohioans rise above the poverty line. Proposed policy solutions include expanding subsidized childcare, removing work stipulations from SNAP, and making earned income tax credits refundable, which are further summarized in an article from Hannah.