RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated people’s ability to meet basic needs, such as food and housing, but a report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation and nonprofit Voices for Virginia’s Children outlines how families of color in Virginia have struggled with these concerns at a disproportionate rate.
The report, titled Kids, Families and COVID-19: Pandemic Pain Points and the Urgent Need to Respond, utilized data from U.S. Census Bureau’s Household Pulse surveys from Sept. 16 to Oct. 12.
According to the report, 13 percent of Virginia’s families with children reported that sometimes or often they did not have enough to eat. The national average was 14 percent.
“Virginia is faring better than the national average, but it doesn’t mean families are thriving,” Lauren Snellings, the research director for Voices for Virginia’s Children, said in an interview.
While Virginia’s rate increased by three percent since the beginning of the pandemic, the report showed that 25 percent of Black families in Virginia said they sometimes or often experienced not having enough food.
In terms of housing stability, 36 percent of Black families in the commonwealth reported having little or no confidence that they would make their next rent or mortgage payment on time. The average for Virginia’s families is 16 percent, two points less than the national rate.
Survey data from the Census Bureau also shows that 60 percent of Black families and 58 percent of Latino families with children in Virginia lost employment income since the onset of the pandemic. Forty-six percent of Virginia’s families with a child in the household reported losing income from a job.
The Annie E. Casey Foundation offered recommendations at the end of the Dec. 14 report – listed below — to address these concerns:
- Put racial and ethnic equity first in response efforts
- Help families with children achieve financial stability and bolster their well-being
- Ensure schools are better and more equitably funded and ready to meet the needs of students disparately affected by the pandemic
Snellings said no matter what steps are taken next, issues concerning families, especially those who are struggling or vulnerable, can’t have a piecemeal solution. “We can’t just look at health care or housing, it has to reach across all areas.”
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- The next group of Virginia residents is now eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine despite VDH reporting that the demand for vaccines is surpassing their supply.
- A new COVID-19 variant identified in California is being tied to multiple outbreaks, public health officials said Sunday.
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- California on Monday became the first state to record more than 3 million known coronavirus infections. The last 1 million cases have all occured
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- After allergic reactions at 1 clinic, California pauses use of large batch of Moderna COVID-19 vaccineAfter several people had apparent allergic reactions at one California clinic, state health officials on Sunday told providers across the state to pause administering doses from one COVID-19 vaccine lot that arrived from Moderna.
- The more contagious COVID-19 variant first reported in the U.K. will likely become the predominant strain in the U.S. by March, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday.