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White House Acts On Rural Child Poverty

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack serves fresh fruit to middle schoolers in Iowa.

Photo by Laura Crowell for USDA

Child poverty has been declining in urban areas in recent years, but rural areas have been bucking that trend. Child poverty has actually increased in rural areas, up to 17.7% in 2012. Growing up in poverty has wide-ranging and long-lasting impacts on children’s physical and mental health and their school achievement.

Now the White House Rural Council is focusing attention and resources on the issue with a multi-agency effort, called “Rural Impact.” With support from the White House, USDA, HHS and other federal agencies, public and private resources, the initiative will raise awareness and explore innovative models of service delivery to ensure that key programs are having an impact in underserved rural areas.

The White House Rural Council approach will address issues such as food security, access to health care, the digital divide, job readiness, early childhood education and empowering local leadership.  

A hallmark of the White House plan is a “two-generation” strategy, which bundles adult job training and access with childhood programs like Head Start. These coordinated strategies not only help make it more possible for adults to work outside the home, they start children on the path to success early in life, despite their economic circumstances.

Learn more about the new White House Rural Council initiative here.
Read a recent Washington Post article about it here.

Posted in Rural Community Development

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