The first Monday of the New Year comes with much hope and optimism that life will be better than 2020. But as the Biden-Harris administration prepares to take over in just 16 days, there is much work that needs to be done to address hunger, health and homelessness in our country.
This week’s Monday numbers column looks at some of the challenges as highlighted by the Annie E. Casey Foundation that require an urgent response from the new president and the incoming Congress.
14 – Percent of U.S. families with children who said that in the most recent week, there was sometimes or always not enough to eat in their household
23 – Percent of Black families with children who said food insecurity was a problem for their household compared to 19% of Latinos and 10% of white and Asian households
18 – Percent of households with children who said they had “slight confidence” or “no confidence” that they will be able to make their next rent or mortgage payment on time
38 – Percent of adults ages 18 to 24 who had difficulty paying for usual household expenses in the past week in North Carolina
1.3 million – Number of people who filed for unemployment benefits in North Carolina between mid-March and December 30th (Source: NC Division of Employment Security)
9,050 – Number of jobless claims filed with the state December 30th (Ibid)
426,584 – Number of claimants who filed for unemployment but did not meet the state’s eligibility criteria (Ibid)
12 – Percent of U.S. families with children who lack health insurance
16 – Percent in North Carolina
6,487 – Number of new COVID-19 cases reported in North Carolina on Sunday, Jan. 3 (Source: NCDHHS)
34 – Percent of U.S. households with children who said they had delayed getting medical care in the previous month
32 – Percent of U.S. adults with young children who told Washington University in St. Louis they are less likely to return to work because they lack child care
49 – Percent of U.S. adults in households with school-aged children surveyed who said there was no adult available in their household to help their children with schoolwork
21 – Percent of North Carolina households with children that reported feeling down, depressed or hopeless in the previous week.
The Casey Foundation rightly concludes in their latest report:
The first order of business in 2021 will be to determine how best to navigate the second year of a pandemic. These are painful times, but this nation has the resources to meet the needs of those most affected by the ongoing health and economic crisis. Our leaders can respond in ways that enable kids to thrive in spite of the extraordinary times we’re living in. Our nation must choose to act with the urgency our children’s futures deserve.
Read the full report: Kids, Families and COVID-19: Pandemic Pain Points and the Urgent Need to Respond.