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Human Services

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1 in 4 Children Living in Poverty in Arizona

According to the Association of Arizona Food Banks’ special Spring 2011 publication entitled Making the Pieces Fit for Arizona: The Case for our Social Services Safety Net, “over 125,000 unduplicated Arizonans seek emergency food each week; almost half (46%) are children.” The publication calls for “well-researched and reasoned actions” when addressing Arizona’s social services safety net in order to avoid deepening the challenges being faced.  It also calls for advocates from all sectors to understand the role of the food banks, their interconnectivity to other important programming, who uses the services and why, so that Arizona can make better choices for the future. Please review the article here.

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Watch: A Civil Conversation About Poverty and Hunger in Arizona

With the second highest poverty rate in the nation, many Arizonans are experiencing need for the first time. To cope with limited resources, families are making tough tradeoffs among basic needs like food, shelter, utilities, and medical care. How should Arizona respond to heightened demand and what can be done to address root causes of poverty? Join the experts for a candid conversation about how Arizona can alleviate hunger now, while developing long term strategies to combat poverty. The panel discussion was moderated by Dr. Richard Knopf, the human services contributor for Arizona Indicators and director of ASU’s Partnership for Community Development.

Watch: Part 1 | Part 2

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Arizona’s Human Services

The demand is up,
and we are able to help less.

Gloria Hurtado, Director of City of Phoenix Human Services Department, as quoted in The Arizona Republic, April 8, 2009

Human services of many types provide an important safety net for Arizonans and help many achieve self sufficiency. Services such as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, job programs, child protective services, and housing assistance offer a wide variety of support.

Without the services of the public, private, and nonprofit sectors, many Arizonans would face continuing hardships. At the same time, tracking the levels and utilization of assistance helps to inform planning in many other areas.