Study Shows Louisiana's Children Are In Crisis
Louisiana ranked last for child hunger, tools for remote learning, and in the bottom five for economic security
The coronavirus pandemic has been hard on everyone, but especially children. A new study published by the nonprofit Save the Children found that as the U.S. passes the one year anniversary of its first COVID-19 case:
17 million children struggle with hunger
1 in 4 children don’t have the tools they need for distance learning
69% of families have difficulty making ends meet
Children of color are twice as likely as White kids to face hunger
Black and Hispanic children are 1.5 times as likely as White kids to lack remote learning tools
Two-thirds of Black and Hispanic families report losing employment income
Graphic courtesy of Save the Children
While things have been tough all across the country, nowhere have children suffered more than in Louisiana, the study finds. Louisiana ranked last on child hunger and access to tools for remote learning, as well as in the bottom five on economic security.
25 percent of Louisiana families do not have enough to eat
25 percent of Louisiana children do not have internet access or a digital device for educational purposes
50 percent of Louisiana families are struggling to pay for household expenses
The situation is even worse among Louisiana’s poorer families. While the wealthiest families in Louisiana are having no struggles with food insecurity or paying their expenses, 72 percent of low-income households are struggling to keep up with paying rent and buying food.
Orleans Parish ranked 33rd out of Louisiana’s 64 parishes, with a child poverty rate of 33.6 percent. According to the study, 23.9 percent of the parish’s children are currently facing food insecurity, and 27.2 percent of school-aged children have dropped out.
Although there is a robust meal assistance program in place in New Orleans, it may not be enough. More assistance is needed at both the federal and state level in order to ensure families and children in New Orleans and across the state do not continue to go hungry - and the crisis likely won’t end once the pandemic is over. According to the study, the benefits to children and families need to be made permanent.
If you are struggling with food or housing insecurity, you can sign up for the New Orleans COVID-19 meal assistance or rental assistance programs here.