Dem Chair Haaland Comments on NM Finishing Last Again in Kids Count Findings

Healthy, educated children best way to stop finishing last

In the nationally recognized Kids Count Data Book Report, just released, New Mexico is again near the bottom nationally when it comes to the economic well-being of our children. New Mexico ranked 49th for the second consecutive year and has ranked in the bottom five for most of the past decade.

“New Mexico has a poverty problem, an education problem and a hunger problem.” said DPNM Chairwoman Deb Haaland in response to the state’s poor ranking.” The timing of this report is particularly striking in light of new rules being proposed by the state Human Services Department (HSD) that make it more difficult for these children to receive the nutrition they need.”

New work requirements for recipients of the Supplemental Assistance Nutrition Program (SNAP) proposed in New Mexico exceed federal requirements by forcing certain recipients to complete 80 hours of unpaid work to receive food assistance.

“Now is not the time to make it more difficult for our children to get enough to eat every day.” said Haaland. “As New Mexico continues to struggle economically we need to recognize that programs like SNAP help ensure our children do not go hungry. Healthy, educated children are our best opportunity to improve their economic well-being and move New Mexico off the bottom of yet another list.”