Thursday, September 15, 2011

Fighting Poverty: What You Can Do About It on October 5

By Damika Webb on September 9th 2011

A public program, “Fighting Poverty: What you can do about it.” will address the current state of three critical issues in Camden County — hunger, housing and health – at the Cherry Hill Library on October 5, 2011 from 7:00–9:00 PM. Conducted in partnership with the Anti Poverty Network, the program will highlight the Poverty Research Institute’s (PRI) latest report “Poverty Benchmarks 2011: Assessing New Jersey’s Progress in Combating Poverty,” which generated significant interest in the local media. PRI is an initiative of Legal Services of NJ (LSNJ), which provides free legal help on civil matters to New Jerseyans who cannot afford it. In anticipation of upcoming elections, fact sheets and voter guides will be distributed with information on candidates’ positions on public policy and poverty.

According to Nancy Ashton, planning team member, “Early in life I learned that if you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem. I’ve known poverty, but I’m doing okay now. But many of us don’t know where our next meal is coming from, if we can pay the next bill, if we can afford a decent home or endure a medical problem. Samuel Johnson said, ‘The inevitable consequence of poverty is dependence’, so let’s help the less fortunate pull themselves up.” Zane Kratzer from LSNJ, Senior Researcher and Policy Analyst for PRI, will present the Poverty Benchmarks data specific to Camden County. A panel of local social service administrators who work on the frontlines of the poverty battle will discuss the report and suggest needed actions. Panel respondents include: Ujwala Samant, Director of Programs and Services for the Food Bank of South Jersey; Kevin D. Walsh, Fair Share Housing Center Associate Director; and Carol Wolff, Executive Director of the Camden Area Health Education Center. The League of Women Voters will moderate.

Co-sponsoring the program are: The Anti Poverty Network, South Jersey NOW–Alice Paul Chapter, League of Women Voters - Camden County, Congregation M’kor Shalom’s Social Action Committee, Regional Urban Partnerships Committee of Sustainable Cherry Hill, and Unitarian Universalist Church of Cherry Hill Social Justice Committee.

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