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PNS Daily Newscast - March 5, 2021 


New rules should speed large-scale clean-energy projects in NY; Texas' Gov. Abbott tries to shift COVID blame to release of "immigrants."


2021Talks - March 5, 2021 


A marathon Senate session begins to pass COVID relief; Sanders plans a $15 minimum wage amendment; and work continues to approve Biden's cabinet choices.

Report: More NH Families on Verge of Losing Housing, Food Security

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New Hampshire is one of three states, along with Vermont and Wyoming, that have student-to-counselor ratios as low as 250-to-1 in schools, as recommended by the American School Counselor Association. (Brocreative/Adobe Stock)
New Hampshire is one of three states, along with Vermont and Wyoming, that have student-to-counselor ratios as low as 250-to-1 in schools, as recommended by the American School Counselor Association. (Brocreative/Adobe Stock)
December 17, 2020

CONCORD, N.H. -- Many New Hampshire kids and their families are struggling with health-care coverage, mental health, housing and hunger due to the pandemic, even though the Granite State ranks second in overall child well-being.

Ten percent of New Hampshire families with children said they don't have enough to eat, according to a new report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

Twelve percent reported only slight or no confidence in making their next rent or mortgage payment on time. And 7% don't have health-insurance coverage.

Rebecca Woitkowski, with New Futures Kids Count in New Hampshire, said with so much job loss due to the pandemic, state lawmakers need to protect and strengthen support systems.

"That really means that there are a lot of families that are on the tipping point in this state," Woitkowski observed. "And we really need to think about how we are supporting them."

Nationally, nearly a third of respondents said they're less likely to return to work because they lack child care.

Woitkowski hopes during the 2021 legislative session, lawmakers will prioritize securing New Hampshire's child-care scholarship program, as well as Family Resource Centers.

Fifteen percent of New Hampshire households with kids reported feeling down, depressed or hopeless. Woitkowski added parents are trying to do the very best for their children, but many worry about the long-term effects of social isolation and increased screen time for online learning.

"Much of our economy is based on the balance of children in the public school system and working hours," Woitkowski maintained. "And when you disrupt that, it creates a lot of internal stress for a family."

Leslie Boissiere with the Casey Foundation noted that data shows racial disparities. For example, 31% of Black respondents nationwide reported being on the verge of failing to pay their rent or mortgage, compared with 26% of Latino, 16% of Asian American and 12% of Caucasian respondents.

"The pandemic has laid bare and really exacerbated racial and ethnic inequities in this country," Boissiere asserted. "And we've seen that Black, Latino and Native communities in particular have been hard hit."

The report calls for immediate and meaningful action, from beefing up the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program to investing in high-poverty school districts.

Disclosure: Annie E Casey Foundation contributes to our fund for reporting on Children's Issues, Criminal Justice, Early Childhood Education, Education, Juvenile Justice, and Welfare Reform. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.
Lily Bohlke, Public News Service - NH