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New study shows 1 in 5 Montana children live in poverty

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MISSOULA -

Data released today shows many Montana families live in poverty after struggling to recover from the great recession.
     
The group KIDS COUNT under the University of Montana's bureau of business and economic research gathered the numbers from across the state.
     
The new report shows 47,000 Montana children or 21 percent of the total child population, live in poverty.
     
The data book examined children based on their economic well-being, education, health and family and community, during the recession and in the post-recession years.
     
Jennifer Calder is the communications director for kids-count and she says positive change can happen when people invest in parents. 

"What we know is that kids succeed when families succeed," said Calder. "So for a lot of low income working parents or parents who are working but still living in poverty, what they need is real workforce skill development to help them access jobs that can help them earn a wage that will help them support a family."

I asked around Missoula today to find out how the community swallows the information.

One child care provider told me it takes a community to solve a problem.

"I feel like people should be stepping up and like making an effort to decrease that or whatever," said Brett. "I mean, it's not good for kids to be in poverty. Things need to start happening so kids can eat food and have families and be loved and stuff."

Roughly a third of children in Montana live in families where neither parent has a full time job, and that's where Calder says improvement lies. 

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