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Kids Count book shows more kids living in poverty - KOAM TV 7

Kids Count book shows more kids living in poverty

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The annual Kids Count book is out and statistics show a growing number of kids are living in poverty.

The book tracks a variety of indicators that can show risk factors for a child's quality of life.

This year's book shows more than 7,000 children in Jasper County live in poverty.  Poverty effects about 25% of kids in both Jasper and Newton counties.

Kids qualifying for free and reduced lunches are at 49% for Jasper County.  In the Joplin School District there's been a 10% increase in the past five years.

Kids Count data is used by children's haven to mark trends that could mean parents need help watching kids as they're stressed by struggling to pay bills.

Crosslines Churches reports its food pantry and free clothing are in high demand and officials say it's not just the homeless or jobless needing help.

Crosslines Churches Executive Director Kathy Lewis says between 2006 and 2011, the number of families served by Crosslines more than tripled from 2,000 to 7,800.

The data also has some positives this year.  It shows seven risk indicators decreasing in Missouri including child abuse, teen pregnancy and the drop out rate.

For more information visit http://datacenter.kidscount.org/

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