Your Nov. 25 editorial “Poverty’s rural face” provided eye-opening statistics from a U.S. Department of Agriculture report about the prevalence of poverty in rural counties. Children are among the most vulnerable of the rural population.
According to data collected for the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Kids Count project, 23 percent of children who live in rural and Appalachian counties in Ohio are considered poor.
Your editorial called for lawmakers who oppose the safety-net programs that help many of their rural constituents to rethink their positions. Thousands of rural children receive relief from hunger through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program — more commonly known as food stamps — and the National School Lunch Program.
They also have access to health care through public health insurance, and get the educational start they need through publicly funded early childhood programs such as Head Start.
While our rural children may not punch a ballot on Election Day, they depend on lawmakers to represent them and make responsible decisions for their future.
Let’s protect our greatest resource and give children what they need to become educated, healthy, productive adults.
Project ManagerKids CountChildren’s Defense Fund-Ohio Columbus