WWW.QNS.COM RIDGEWOOD TIMES SEPTEMBER 2, 2021 13
End hunger and poverty for thousands of New York’s children
BY RACHEL SABELLA
The checks are in the mail.
This July, millions of households across the
country and hundreds of thousands right here
in New York started receiving additional money
through the Child Tax Credit secured by President
Biden and the Congress earlier this year.
We’ve seen a wave of new programs, stimulus
money and unemployment benefi ts fl ow to Americans
hit hard by the pandemic. But the Child Tax
Credit expansion is diff erent. In fact, it could be one
of the most powerful anti-poverty tools we’ve ever
had in this country.
According to estimates, the changes to the Child
Tax Credit this year could help an additional 39 million
households across the country this year and
lift as many as 5 million kids out of poverty. And
the emerging consensus is that the expanded Child
Tax Credit is so eff ective, it could cut child poverty
It couldn’t come at a more crucial time. The pandemic
plunged millions of families into economic
hardship. It erased a decade of progress reducing
child hunger. For a state where nearly one in fi ve
kids is raised in poverty, the Child Tax Credit could
be a game-changer.
But only if the families who need it most take the
steps to secure their own benefi t.
The Child Tax Credit has been around for
decades. Most parents are familiar with it from
fi ling personal income taxes each year. Until this
year, it maxed out at $2,000 annually. That’s hardly
enough to cover the costs of raising a child, but for
a low-income household, it can help cover critical
Now, because of the pandemic, Washington
has upsized the benefit to $3,000 annually, and
$3,600 for each child under six. That’s a meaningful
increase for families struggling to make ends
But the biggest change is that families who don’t
earn enough income to fi le income taxes now qualify
for the benefi t, too. Until this year, they were excluded.
It’s counterintuitive, but historically, the
families who needed the Child Tax Credit the most
have never even qualifi ed for it.
Now, every family will see this benefi t — but only
if newly eligible families take the time to enroll. If
you didn’t receive this payment in July or August, go
to GetCTC.org/strength to sign up. Tell your friends
and family members with kids. Make an announcement
at your local church or religious service.
The beauty of this benefi t is that it can be used
for anything — and so families end up using it on
what’s most essential for them. And we see time and
time again that it helps families’ budgets where they
struggle most: putting food on the table.
When families face fi xed expenses like rent and
utilities, they are forced to cut back where they can
— and too oft en that’s food. The latest data shows one
in four kids here in New York City could face food
insecurity this year. Those are households where
mom or dad is forced to skip meals to give their kids
enough to eat, or days toward the end of the month
when there’s not enough money to buy groceries.
Food insecurity aff ects how kids do in school. It
aff ects their physical and mental development. And
it fosters a negative cycle of poverty unless we break
This year’s expanded Child Tax Credit is one of
the most powerful tools we’ve ever had in our fi ght
against child hunger. We can’t let any family leave
that money on the table.
Spread the word.
The sooner families sign up, the sooner we can
get them benefi ts.
And the sooner we can decisively turn the tide
against child poverty in New York.
Rachel Sabella is the director of No Kid Hungry New
BEE DRINKS NECTAR FROM SUNFLOWER
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