poverty gap Texas poverty rate jumps to 17.3 percentThe state’s poverty rate , now at 17.3 percent, remained the nation’s 6th highest in 2009. The rate among Texas children also has increased since 2008.

Nearly 4.3 million Texans lived in poverty last year, up 11 percent from a year earlier, the Census Bureau reported today.

Poverty now affects almost 1.8 million Texas youngsters under 18, or just more than one of every four.

“If these numbers don’t convey a sense of urgency, I don’t know what will,” said J.C. Dwyer, state policy director of the Texas Food Bank Network. “We need Congress to act now to ensure that all our children have access to basic nutrition as they learn and grow.” He urged lawmakers to pass a bill reauthorizing nutrition programs for children.

Source: Dallas Morning News