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Under the strategic direction of the Florida 2030 Blueprint, the Florida Chamber Foundation’s Florida Prosperity Project is on a mission to cut childhood poverty in half by 2030 and ensure 100% have a pathway out. Recently released data for 2020 shows that Florida’s childhood poverty and overall poverty numbers are moving in the right direction; of the now reported 2,772,939 (13.3%) Floridians living in poverty, 773,801 (18.7%) of that number represents children under the age of 18 –down roughly 55,000 from 2019.Now for the analysis – while a decrease of 1.4% from the previously reported 20.1% Florida childhood poverty rate in 2019 may seem surprising amidst the hardship of the COVID-19 pandemic, the $400 billion distributed through national stimulus checks plays a significant role in the decrease. The one-off nature of the stimulus payment boost to household income could mean this decrease may be temporary. As we continue to strive towards reducing Florida’s childhood poverty, we need to be ready for, and work to combat, a potential uptick in the future. A moment of immense opportunity presents itself for the Florida business community to unite to ensure the right things keep happening in Florida to achieve prosperity in every zip code.
 
Help Us Put Boots to the Ground to Tackle Florida Childhood Poverty Once and for All
 
Our holistic approach to tackling childhood poverty includes partnering with statewide business leaders with a passion for the issue and the resources to solve it, subject matter experts with an understanding of the needs, and county and local level leaders to tackle the needs in their communities. We invite you to take the following actions:1. Access the Florida Chamber Foundation’s tools to see where the disparities exist in your zip code.The Florida Scorecardprovides Florida leaders and local stakeholders with the metrics needed to measure progress within their own communities toward the goals outlined in the Florida 2030 Blueprint. Specific metrics tied to the Florida Prosperity Project on TheFloridaScorecard.org include Poverty Rates, Children in Poverty, ALICE Households and Homeless School Children – information available for every Florida county and zip code. The Florida Gap Map illustrates the intersection of third grade reading scores for every public school in Florida with childhood poverty rates, combining the efforts of the Florida Prosperity Project and the Florida Business Alliance for Early Learning Project. With access to both childhood poverty rates and third grade reading scores, TheFloridaGapMap.org frames the magnitude of the problems your neighborhood faces and opportunities to jump in and help. 2. Contact Kyle Baltuch, SVP of Equality of Opportunity, at kbaltuch@flfoundation.org for more information on how your company can get involved with the Florida Prosperity Project in your county or zip code.  

3. Join the bigger conversation at the 2022 Florida Prosperity & Economic Opportunity Solution Summiton May 25 in Orlando. Florida’s business leaders, community advocates and elected officials will unite to take a deep dive into the business case for tackling the 10 root causes of generational poverty in Florida and what can be done, down to the zip code level, to eliminate barriers to prosperity. REGISTER HERE>Combating childhood poverty may seem like a lofty goal, but with a united front of Florida’s business and community leaders, we can tackle each root cause, one zip code at a time.
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