Task Force Discusses Childhood Poverty

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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - First Lady Mary Brownback says our state's future depends on breaking the cycle of poverty.

Mary Brownback spoke Monday morning at the first meeting of the Governor's Task Force to Reduce Childhood Poverty.

Mrs. Brownback encouraged the group to think outside the box in developing policy recommendations to address what she called an important issue, not just for the children but also for Kansas.

Mrs. Brownback says the fact that nearly half of Kansas school children qualify for free or reduced lunches is "astounding." She says the state collectively needs to do what it can to help the children and families get out of poverty so the children have a chance to live up to their fullest potential.

The 12-member task force includes the secretaries of health and environment; children and families; and aging and disability services. Among others serving are Topeka Rescue Mission director Barry Feaker.