Census Documents Growth in Poverty

The recent U.S. census quantified the trends we have been seeing locally in dropping family incomes and rising demand at food pantries.  I was particularly drawn to the increased number of families living below the poverty level and growing utilization of state human service programs.

The downward trajectory in median household income continues in Illinois according to census numbers.  Illinois median household income in 2009 was $53,966 or $6,000 less than a decade ago.  The number of children living below poverty and eligible for free and reduced price lunches at school increased about 25 percent in the last decade and now totals over 581,000 children in Illinois.

Well over two million Illinoisans are now considered low income and six percent of the population is living in extreme poverty.  This has created a sharp rise in demand at community food pantries, hunger among children attending school and people eligible for government programs.  Meanwhile state revenue is dropping which makes it more difficult to balance the budget, reduce expenditures and fulfill program eligibility.

Over the summer I have been serving on a House task force looking at ways to eliminate poverty and help people gain employment.  The challenges are daunting and involve basic life necessities like food, shelter and medical care before individuals can focus on skills and training needed to get a job.

The task force has been focused on triage and increased resources.  We all are part of the solution and need to become aware of the families in poverty around us and ways we might be able to provide basic support and assistance.  CROP Hunger Walks are being held around the state but it can’t end now.  Talk about ways your friends and co-workers can help feed those who are hungry and trying to get on their feet.

District Office 815-748-3494 or E-Mail to bob@pritchardstaterep.com

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Robert W. Pritchard (R-Hinckley) is the Illinois State Representative for the 70th district, serving the residents in portions of DeKalb, Boone, and Kane Counties. Bob has been serving in the Illinois House since 2003. Pritchard, affectionately known as Bob, has been serving in the Illinois House since 2003. Biography Bob was born February 2, 1945. He grew up on a farm outside Hinckley, Illinois where growing corn and soybeans instilled in him hard work and a sense of dedication. Bob and his family continue to their hard work by farming. He is married to his wife Mary, Associate Dean at Northern Illinois University, and has two grown sons, Matthew and Gregory. Education Bob majored in communications from the University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign) earning both his bachelors and masters degree. Bob’s passion for farming and his education in communication gave him the unique opportunity to enjoy working in both fields. Professional Life Beginning as a Radio and TV broadcaster for a local area stations, Bob delivered the farming updates and local weather reports. Bob took advantage of his skills and has worked for universities as well as filled marketing, public relations, and community relation roles at DeKalb Genetics Corporation and Monsanto. Community Leader Before becoming a member of the Illinois House of Representatives Bob was an energetic and busy contributor to the communities of DeKalb County. Getting his hands dirty in all parts of local government, Bob served on the Hinckley-Big Rock Board of Education. Bob was never far from his roots in the farming community, and was elected to a leadership position for the DeKalb County Farm Bureau. He also served as chairman for the DeKalb County Board. Legislative History Bob has diligently worked for the betterment on a wide gamut of issues from early childhood and education, healthcare, conservation and the environment, job creation, and protecting the manufacturing industry. The values of hard work and dedication that were instilled in Bob from his years of farming are reflected in his mentality of representing his constituents.

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