RALEIGH, N.C. — A yearly report card that sizes up the overall health of North Carolina children had mixed reviews for the Tar Heel State.
The report, issued each year by the North Carolina Institute of Medicine and the nonprofit NC Child, gave North Carolina an “A” for insurance coverage for insuring 96 percent of kids, which is a record high. But that state also received a failing grade for children’s economic security.
According to the report, child poverty is a serious public health epidemic with deep racial and ethnic divides in North Carolina.
More than half of all children in North Carolina under the age of 5 live in poor or near-poor homes, the report said, and one in three children live in homes where more than 30 percent of monthly income goes to pay for housing. The study also said one in seven children live in high poverty neighborhoods.
“Well if a family is having difficulty making ends meet, the stress that that creates in the family is tremendous,” said Cindy Sink, the marketing director for the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle. “The most obvious one that I am familiar with is food security.”
Sink believes some empathy is in order.
“We all go through hard times, and some of us are going through much longer periods of hard times because we don’t make enough or we don’t have the education to get the kind of jobs that pay enough,” Sink said. “I just hope we all remember that, what that might be like to be in that situation because I bet we have all been there at one time or another.”