Poverty snapshot shows slight reduction in low-income Missourians

Bill Grady
October 23, 2018 - 7:21 am

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Some progress is being made in fighting poverty in Missouri, though a large number of families continue to struggle, according to the Missouri Poverty Snapshot from Empower Missouri and the Coalition on Human Needs.

The number of of low-income residents in Missouri fell by more than half a percent since 2016, according the report. But it also showed nearly 800,000 people live below the poverty line, and many of those people are children.

Some government safety nets are in danger of being cut, said Sarah Owsley-Townsend, Empower's Kansas City regional organizer.

"They have been called out by lawmakers, both at the state and federal level, as being somewhat endangered," Owsley-Townsend said. "We work to advocate to continue those programs and expand some when we need to."

Poverty could increase in the state if programs are cut, Owsley-Townsend said.

The Missouri legislature did not expand the Medicaid program under Obamacare. Empower Missouri advocates say that left more than 200,000 people, mostly the working poor, without health insurance.

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