“A County of Great Contrasts”

Located just north of New York City and replete with scenic beauty, the county of Westchester has been an attractive residential location for decades.  Desirable real estate and a history of prosperous growth have given the county a reputation of affluence, but in reality, Westchester is a place of extreme haves and have-nots.  With one of the largest income gaps in the nation, Westchester is indeed “a county of great contrasts.”[1]

Westchester County is, in many ways, a microcosm of New York State economics where wealth is deeply concentrated and poverty is higher than both the national average and of any other Northern state.[2] Income inequality in New York State is not only the highest in the nation but higher than Mexico and Sri Lanka.[3] The gap between the rich and poor continues to widen dramatically as does the gap between the rich and middle class. The top fifth of New York State households earn 8.1 times the bottom fifth[4] and 2.8 times that of the average middle income earner.[5] Income inequality in Westchester is even more pronounced: the top fifth earns 20 times what the bottom fifth earns.  This is one of the widest income gaps in the nation.  The wealthiest 5 percent earned an average $666,222 in 2006, which ranks third in the nation, following only Fairfield, Connecticut and Manhattan.[6] Such wealth overshadows a much larger portion of the county’s population struggling to get by.

Westchester’s high countywide averages have promoted a false perception of ubiquitous affluence for decades, and as a consequence, economic insecurity is underreported and often dismissed.  Poverty remains invisible to some of the county’s very own residents, many of whom commute to Manhattan for work each day and return to their isolated communities.  As Nada Khader of WESPAC points out, Westchester is “unique because there are communities where you can live all of your life and never be exposed to the poverty.”[7] The truth is that there are not pockets of poverty in Westchester but rather, pockets of immense wealth that inflate county statistics and diminish the economic challenge faced by many.  “We’ve labored on the concept that Westchester is affluent and therefore everyone is affluent, but the reality is that poverty is everywhere,” says Dennis Hanratty, director of Mount Vernon United Tenants.[8]

The Cost of Living in Westchester

According to 2005 U.S. Census data, Westchester County has a poverty rate of 8.8% or 83,000 people living at or below the poverty line.  Because the poverty line is set by the federal government, however, it does not take into account the high cost of living in Westchester and thus masks the true number of county residents facing economic and food insecurity.  While the federal poverty line for a family of four is set at $20,000, it is estimated that a family of four in Westchester would have to earn $55,000 just to meet the most basic needs of shelter, food and clothing.  The poverty rate in Westchester would triple under this estimate.[9]

Hard work is not enough to overcome poverty and eradicate economic insecurity.  Wages that may be sufficient to get by in other areas of the country are not enough to live in Westchester, largely because of the county’s extremely high housing prices.  According to the 2008 Cost of Living Index, the cost of living in Westchester is considered “very high” at 56 points higher than the national average of 100.[10] Wages have not increased with the cost of living making it difficult for many to keep up.

For those who qualify for temporary assistance, welfare can help to obtain basic necessities such as heat, housing, food, and clothing.  The welfare grant, however, does not lift people out of poverty or even lift them above 50 percent of the federal poverty level.  The welfare grant increased this year for the first time since 1990 but the 10 percent increase is not even one-fifth the rate of inflation during this period.[11] The basic cash grant for a family of three now provides $320 per month while the shelter allowance has not been increased and remains at $426.  We praise Governor Paterson and state lawmakers for finally raising the state welfare grant after 18 years. The Governor should be commended for proposing an increase even as the state faced a massive budget deficit. However, even a 30% raise over 3 years falls far short of restoring the lost purchasing power over the last two decades, let alone raising the grant to an adequate level.

Westchester’s workfare program, Pride In Work, became a national model by the mid-1990’s because it significantly decreased welfare rolls.  The workfare program forced people to work 20 hours per week for their welfare checks under the guise that it would prepare them for employment.  The jobs people are given under this program, however, amount to little more than picking up garbage and cut into the time that people have to look for a job.[12] Many people who do find work and leave the welfare rolls are still not any better off despite the claim that having a job equals a better life.  For a person working a 40-hour week on minimum wage, their annual income would be just over $15,000.  This is not enough to cover taxes, rent, utilities and public transportation, let alone food.[13]

Jobs

Finding a job that pays well is an extremely difficult challenge.  Nada Khader of WESPAC stresses both the loss of local jobs and lack of job creation as major barriers to economic security.[14] Blue-collar workers have a difficult time competing in the county because it lacks major employment sectors such as manufacturing and agriculture.  More than half of all jobs are concentrated in three sectors: trade, transportation and utilities (19.3 percent), education and health services (18.1 percent), and government (15.4 percent).[15]

Twenty-five years ago, Westchester was a desirable place for large corporations to relocate to but many downsized or left in the 1990’s.  The downsizing and relocation was most prevalent in the manufacturing sector.  A General Motors plant in Tarrytown closed in 1995 because of the high cost of energy and this resulted in the loss of over 2,000 jobs.  The high energy cost, as well as the lack of affordable housing, deterred business growth and led many corporations to leave the county, taking many jobs with them.  Small businesses are the dominant employers, with nearly 90 percent of all businesses in the county employing 20 people or less.  In contrast, only 20 businesses employ over one-thousand.[16]

While there has been job growth in Westchester in recent years, it has mainly occurred in the financial and business sectors.  Twenty percent of all wages paid in 2006 were in the professional and business sectors.  The biggest wage increases occurred in the financial and business sectors, with the financial sector accounting for nearly half of all wage gains in the county.  Salaries in financial services rose 26.3 percent between 2003 and 2006 to an average annual salary of $95,150, compared to a county average of $58,630.[17]

Housing

Exorbitant housing costs in Westchester are a major source of economic insecurity.  Chuck Bell of Consumers Union maintains that the high cost of housing is perhaps the largest barrier to economic security for Westchester families in addition to finding a job that pays well.[18] Debbie Perkins of Community Housing Innovations notes that “even working families end up poor and homeless due to the high cost of housing.”[19] Between 2000 and 2006, real property values in the county rose an astonishing 75 percent.  With the median value of a single-family home in Westchester at $630,000, the county has the second highest real estate values in the state (second only to Manhattan).[20] This is more than three times the national median price of $170,300 and almost three times more than the median price in the Northeast region ($228,200).[21]

High property costs translate into a shortage of affordable housing units.  To own a house in Westchester requires an income such that home ownership is not an option for the poor and middle class.  Renters, who make up 59.5 percent of Mount Vernon and half of Yonkers residents, finding a quality rental within their means is challenging if not impossible. The average monthly rent for a two-bedroom apartment is $1,600, an annual cost of $19,200, and almost a 50 percent increase from just over a decade ago.  Incomes have not increased on pace with housing costs which severely limits housing options for low-income residents.  These costs pose a challenge even for those in the middle income bracket.  For those who are limited to monthly rents of $1,200 per month or less, the choices are very few and far between.  Many have no choice but to live in overcrowded, substandard conditions.  Landlords, in light of financial difficulties due to the recession, are also forcing many out of their homes.  Without adequate legal resources, many low-income residents end up homeless.[22] There are over 3,000 homeless people in Westchester County, almost two-thirds resulting from eviction.[23]

For residents relying on SSI, particularly veterans and those with disabilities, the situation is even more calamitous.  A recent study, Priced Out in 2008, found that Westchester is the fourth least affordable place for SSI recipients in the nation, following only Honolulu (HI), Columbia City (MD) and Nantucket (MA).  A modest one-bedroom apartment in Westchester costs almost double (197.3 percent) their monthly income.  SSI recipients often find themselves priced out of studios and efficiency apartments as well.  While the federal government stipulates that housing costs for low-income households should not exceed 30 percent of income, those on SSI are forced to spend upwards of 70% of their income on rent.  Many cannot find affordable housing within their means which leaves most in either substandard housing or on the street.[24] This report clearly shows, says Mel Tanzen of Westchester Disabled on the Move, “people with disabilities cannot even afford the bare essentials.  With the reduction in Section 8 funding over the last 8 years, it is next to impossible for those on SSI to find housing in Westchester County.”

The lack of regulation and intervention at the federal level has contributed to the decrease in affordable housing. Dennis Hanratty, director of Mount Vernon United Tenants, suggests that all levels of government need to work more cooperatively to combat this problem.  While the Section 8 program, both tenant based and project based, are great programs, they are no longer being adequately funded due to the focus on tax credits for home ownership.[25] The result has been a severe increase in subprime mortgages and foreclosures throughout the county.

Subprime mortgages nearly tripled in Westchester between 2004 and 2006.[26] In the first half of 2007, foreclosure filings increased 32 percent while actual foreclosures increased 62 percent.  Subprime mortgages have disproportionately affected black and Latino residents, particularly in areas such as Yonkers, New Rochelle, Mount Vernon and Greenburgh, as predatory lenders have targeted low-income neighborhoods.  Predatory lenders target people with less-than-perfect credit, offering a low-interest rate that is adjustable and rises sharply after a year or two.  These lenders assure residents upon purchasing their homes that they will be able to refinance their loans when rates increase, never indicating that refinancing for subprime mortgages is often done at a rate that drives people further into debt.  Or, in many cases, the request for refinancing is simply denied and people are forced into foreclosure.

For many, including Ms. Quanda Moore of Mount Vernon, buying a home fulfills the so-called American Dream.  “It was just a good feeling to have something that you could call yours,” she says.  Ms. Moore, who was forced out of work due to falling ill, fell behind on payments and her request to refinance was denied as her mortgage was sold to another lender.  With the assistance of Westchester Residential Opportunities, Ms. Moore was able to renegotiate her mortgage and stay in her home.[27] Others are not as fortunate.  Foreclosures skyrocketed 200 percent between the first quarter of 2005 and the first quarter of 2008.  Many remain on the verge of foreclosure with highly fluctuating adjustable-rate mortgages that can double from one month to the next. One such resident describes daily life as “living with a gun to your head.”[28]

If you are need in of housing assistance, or would like more information about the housing challenges facing Westchester County, please view the housing section on our links page.

Hunger

The choice between shelter costs or putting food on the table forces many to turn to emergency food providers and other entities to help bridge the gap.  This choice is not new for many residents of Westchester County.  A 1993 study found that one-third of Westchester residents had to choose, at least once, between paying the rent or buying food.  The demand for food increased 11-fold in the 1990s which put a strain on local emergency food providers.  An estimated one in four residents, including middle income earners, sometimes went hungry.  Even those receiving food stamps went hungry as food prices skyrocketed.[29] A decade later, hunger continues to be a major issue in Westchester.

While it is difficult to determine the exact number of the hungry because many are reluctant to acknowledge their reliance on services, the Food Bank for Westchester estimates that an approximate 200,000 people, or 21 percent of total residents, are hungry or at risk of hunger in Westchester.  The most vulnerable are women, seniors, children and the disabled.  In 2007, over 200 emergency food providers served approximately 5.5 million meals to Westchester residents, a near 20 percent increase from the prior year.  Half of these meals were served to children.[30] Food pantries, such as Ecumenical Emergency Food Pantry in White Plains, have seen a 30 percent increase in demand since January 2008.[31] In the same time, Sacred Heart Food Pantry of Mount Vernon has seen their demand nearly double.  Last month, Sacred Heart signed up 19 new families, providing food for a total 231 households, including 177 children and 50 elderly.[32]

In 2006, nearly 21,000 households, or 39,640 residents, relied on food stamps.[33] The food stamp program is a federal program that is administered on the county level.  It helps to supplement food during tough times for families and individuals while boosting the local economy through the infusion of federal funds. Food stamps, however, are not adjusted for inflation which makes it increasingly difficult for recipients to afford what they need.  In 2007, the USDA reported a 4 percent increase in food prices, which not only outpaces inflation but is nearly double the 10-year average food price increase.[34] Many food stamp recipients rely on emergency food providers to help bridge the gap each month.

Without pantries and soup kitchens, many would not be able to make it.  Hard-working mothers rely on food banks to provide groceries for their children while seniors, often incurring high medical expenses and living on fixed incomes, utilize senior lunch programs.  Some parents even place their children in remedial summer classes that they do not need simply because a free meal is provided.[35] While hunger has a detrimental impact on all, it is especially threatening to children whose growth, development and learning ability depend on adequate nutrition.

To see if you are eligible for Food Stamp Benefits, please contact Catholic Charities at 914-476-2700.

For more information on hunger in Westchester, or if you are in need of food,  please visit The Foodbank for Westchester or Westchester Coalition for the Hungry and Homeless. Additional resources can be found here.

For more information about hunger and anti-hunger initiatives in New York State, as well as a toll-free hunger hotline, please visit Hunger Action of New York State.

Education

Education has an enormous influence on one’s future economic security.  In Westchester County, those who do not graduate high school are three times more likely to be poor than those who do and ten times more likely to be poor than those who graduate college.  With the increased demand for a more educated workforce, it is more important than ever that all children have access to quality education.

Although Westchester spends more per pupil than any other county in New York, with the exception of Hamilton, resources vary significantly by school district.  Lower income areas have less resources which translates into higher student-teacher ratios, significantly less support staff and below average high school student outcomes.  In areas with higher median incomes, students are not only less likely to drop out or get suspended but are much more likely to graduate within four years and subsequently attend college.[36] Chappaqua, for example, has a median income of $174,579 and a 99 percent four-year graduation rate, whereas Mount Vernon’s median income is $49,573 and just over half of students graduate in four years.  While Yonkers and Mount Vernon account for almost one quarter of all county school enrolment and share the same four-year graduation rate, which is the lowest at 55 percent, the wealthy areas of Briarcliff Manor, Bronxville, and Scarsdale share the highest at 99 percent.[37] Yonkers and Mount Vernon also have the highest drop-out rates in the county, 4.6 percent and 3.9 percent respectively, as compared to a zero percent in the wealthy areas of Chappaqua, Bronxville and Scarsdale (the countywide average is 1.7 percent).

Underperforming schools and poverty go hand in hand.  Of the 40 school districts in Westchester, ten have a poverty rate between 5 and 10 percent while seven others have a poverty rate higher than 10 percent.[38] In Yonkers, the largest city in Westchester and the fourth largest city in the state, 18.3 percent of public school children live in poverty.  In Mount Vernon, 19 percent of children live in poverty.[39] It is important to keep in mind that these numbers, staggering as they are, are set according to the federal poverty line.  The number of children in these schools who live in households that lack economic and food security is much higher.  In Yonkers, for example, the number of children eligible for the free lunch program in Yonkers (63 percent) is three times the number countywide (21 percent) and almost twice as many Yonkers children are eligible for reduced lunches (9 percent versus 5 percent countywide).[40] Unfortunately, the stigma associated with participating in these programs leads many eligible children to forego free meal programs.

The impact of hunger on children’s learning ability and overall health is devastating.  Poor nutrition and hunger adversely affect the cognitive performance of school-aged children.  Studies show that skipping breakfast decreases the speed and accuracy of problem-solving while low protein diets are correlated to low scores on achievement tests.  Children without adequate nutrition also have a greater difficulty fighting infections.  This causes them to get sick and miss class more frequently which often leads to falling behind in class.[41]

Health Care

With the average annual health insurance premium for a family of four now costing $12,000, the burden of health care costs are no longer limited to those in poverty.  Health care costs, in fact, are a cause for poverty as people go into debt and bankruptcy due to high medical bills.  Westchester clinics, such as Open Door Family Medical Centers, have seen an increase in middle-income earners, including those making up to $70,000, who cannot afford the cost of health insurance or private health care.[42]

For low-income earners, the state of health care often leaves them without any care at all.  Low-income earners are more likely to be affected by chronic and preventable diseases.[43] Almost a quarter of hospitalizations in Westchester for children ages 1-12 are the result of asthma.[44]

An estimated 11 percent of nonelderly Westchester residents are uninsured.  The cost of uncompensated care provided to the uninsured in Westchester is approximately $107 million; statewide, the cost is $2.8 billion.[45] The health care crisis extends far beyond Westchester and New York State.  The United States faces a health care crisis of epic proportions that affects all levels of government—local, county, state and federal—and residents of all regions and socioeconomic levels.  The US is unique in that it spends more than any other nation on health care yet it remains the only industrialized country in the world that does not provide health care for all of its citizens.

The reason the US spends more and gets less than the rest of the world is because we have a patchwork system of for-profit payers. Private insurers necessarily waste health dollars on things that have nothing to do with care: overhead, underwriting, billing, sales and marketing departments as well as huge profits and exorbitant executive pay. Doctors and hospitals must maintain costly administrative staffs to deal with the bureaucracy. Combined, this needless administration consumes one-third (31 percent) of Americans’ health dollars.

As a result of the inadequate health care system in the U.S. nearly 50 percent of bankruptcies occur because of health care bills.  Three out of four of those bankrupted by health care bills have health insurance.

We believe that health care is a human right, and everyone should have full access from “the womb to the tomb”, regardless of income, employment, age, residency, or household status.  We support a Single-Payer, universal health care system in which the government handles all billing and payment for health care services.

For more about Single-Payer and what you can do to help, please visit our Single-Payer page here.

Child Care

The early years of a child’s life are vital to their development.  While many children who are too young to attend school are cared for by their parents, grandparents, or hired in-home care, many others receive care outside of the home.  The cost of child care adds an additional burden on those who are already struggling to make ends meet.

The average weekly cost of full-time child care in Westchester is $240 for pre-school children, $279 for toddlers (18 months to 3 years) and $307 for infants (6-18 months).  This equates to a staggering average monthly cost of $960 for pre-school children, $1,116 for toddlers and $1,228 for infants.  In 2006, state regulated child care providers in Westchester cared for one in five children under the age of three and more than 20 percent of pre-school children.[46]

For more information, please visit the Westchester Children’s Association.

Urban Communities

Countywide statistics show a striking contrast between wealth and poverty but are often misleading because resources are not distributed evenly.  Community comparisons illustrate the daunting challenges faced by residents, particularly those in urban areas where median incomes are much lower than the county.  Urban areas have larger minority populations and children of minority races or ethnicities are twice as likely to live in poverty.[47]

Conclusion

The reputation of affluence and the reality of poverty have contemporaneously persisted for decades in Westchester, with the former having much more resonance than the latter.  Indeed, the biggest challenge in addressing poverty in Westchester is getting past the perception that all of Westchester resembles Scarsdale or Chappaqua and everyone is doing well.  Economic insecurity in Westchester is a reality for many residents, and due to the high cost of living, it is a struggle to get by even for those with moderate incomes.

Economic insecurity pervades every area of life because all of the issues are inextricably linked.  It is time to sufficiently address poverty in Westchester.  Contact us and get involved in our effort to improve economic security for all.


[1] Brenner, Elsa.  “County’s Wealth: Two Sides of the Coin.”  The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/1995/04/30/nyregion/county-s-wealth-two-sides-of-the-coin.html?sec=&spon=&&scp=2&sq=poverty%20wealth%20westchester%20county&st=cse. April 30, 1995.

[2] English, Sandy.  “Unemployment and Poverty Grip New York State.”  World Socialist Web Site. http://www.wsws.org/articles/2008/sep2008/nyun-s18.shtml.  September 18, 2008.

[3] “New York is Income Inequality Capital of Country Says New Federal Data.”  New York City Coalition Against Hunger. http://www.nyccah.org/node/378.  August 28, 2008.

[4] Hakim, Danny. “Income Gap in New York Is Called Nation’s Highest.”  The New York Times. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9D06E4DC113FF934A15752C0A9609C8B63.

January 26, 2007.

[5] “Pulling Apart in New York: An Analysis of Income Trends in New York State.”  Fiscal Policy Institute. http://www.fiscalpolicy.org/FPI_PullingApartInNewYork.pdf.  April 2008.

[6] Fessenden, Ford. “Rich Get Richer While Poor Hold Their Own.” The New York Times. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9A00E6DA133DF931A3575AC0A9619C8B63&scp=10&sq=westchester%20county%20income%20gap&st=cse.  September 2, 2007.

[7] Khader, Nada.  WESPAC.  Phone conversation.  April 30, 2009.

[8] Hanratty, Dennis.  Mount Vernon United Tenants.  Phone conversation.  April 29, 2009.

[9] Hunger and Poverty Statistics.  The Food Bank for Westchester. http://www.foodbankforwestchester.org/learning_center/hunger_poverty_statistics.html

[10] “Westchester County, New York.”  City-Datahttp://www.city-data.com/county/Westchester_County-NY.html.

[11] “Lift New Yorkers Out of Poverty: Raise the Welfare Grant Now.”  Hunger Action Network of New York Statehttp://www.hungeractionnys.org/welfare.htm.  February 5, 2008.

[12] Berger, Joseph.  “Westchester’s Politically Popular Project Leaves Questions Unresolved.”  The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/1996/12/02/nyregion/westchester-s-politically-popular-project-leaves-questions-unresolved.html?scp=53&sq=westchester%20jobs&st=cse. December 12, 1996.

[13] Hunger and Poverty Statistics.  The Food Bank for Westchester. http://www.foodbankforwestchester.org/learning_center/hunger_poverty_statistics.html

[14] Khader, Nada.  WESPAC.  Phone conversation.  April 30, 2009.

[15] “An Economic Snapshot of Westchester County.”  Office of the State Comptroller. http://www.osc.state.ny.us/reports/economic/westchester.pdf. March 2008.

[16] “An Economic Snapshot of Westchester County.”  Office of the State Comptroller. http://www.osc.state.ny.us/reports/economic/westchester.pdf. March 2008.

[17] “New York’s Rising Unemployment—The Other Crisis in Albany.” Fiscal Policy Institute. http://www.fiscalpolicy.org/FPI_UnemploymentTheOtherCrisis_August2008.pdf. August 28, 2008.

[18] Bell, Chuck.  Consumers Union.  Phone conversation.  April 30, 2009.

[19] Perkins, Debbie.  Community Housing Innovations.  Phone conversation.  April 30, 2009.

[20] “An Economic Snapshot of Westchester County.”  Office of the State Comptroller. http://www.osc.state.ny.us/reports/economic/westchester.pdf. March 2008.

[21] “Northeast’s Slumping Home Sales Worst in U.S.” Associated Press. http://www.northjersey.com/realestate/business/40335527.html.  February 26, 2009.

[22] Brenner, Elsa. “Paying Low Rent, but At An Inflated Risk.”  The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/07/nyregion/westchester/07tenantswe.html.  December 5, 2008.

[23] “State of the County.” Westchester Coalition for the Hungry and Homeless Incorporated. http://foodclothingshelter.org/countystate.

[24] Cooper, Emily, Henry Korman, Ann O’Hara and Andrew Zovistoski.  “Priced Out 2008: The Housing Crisis for People With Disabilities.”  Technical Assistance Collaborative, Inc., Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities and Housing Task Force. http://www.tacinc.org/Docs/HH/Priced%20Out%202008.pdf.

[25] Hanratty, Dennis. Mount Vernon United Tenants.  Phone conversation. April 29, 2009.

[26] “An Economic Snapshot of Westchester County.”  Office of the State Comptroller. http://www.osc.state.ny.us/reports/economic/westchester.pdf. March 2008.

[27] Murphy, Tim.  “Homeownership: Subprime Mortgages Linked to Rise in Foreclosures.” The New York Times. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9D01E2DD1031F936A3575BC0A9619C8B63&sec=&spon=&pagewanted=1.  August 5, 2007.

[28] Aiello, Tony.  “Westchester Not Immune to Foreclosure Crunch.”  WCBS. http://wcbstv.com/topstories/foreclosure.mortgage.subprime.2.689018.html.  March 31, 2008.

[29] Brenner, Elsa.  “The Many Faces of Hunger; Even in an Affluent County, Many Have Little to Spend on Food After Paying the Rent.”   The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/1999/03/14/nyregion/many-faces-hunger-even-affluent-county-many-have-little-spend-food-after-paying.html?scp=13&sq=westchester%20food%20stamps&st=cse&pagewanted=1.  March 14, 1999.

[30] Marszalek, Diana.  “County Food Banks See a Surge in Demand.”  The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/09/nyregion/nyregionspecial2/09foodbankwe.html.  December 9, 2007.

[31] Buonocunto, Lorraine.  Ecumenical Emergency Food Pantry.  Phone conversation. April 30, 2009.

[32] Collins, Mary.  Sacred Heart Food Pantry.  Phone conversation.  May 7, 2009.

[33] “Stretched Too Thin: Food Stamp Benefits in New York State.”  Fiscal Policy Institute. http://www.fiscalpolicy.org/publications2007/FPI_FoodStampsStretchedTooThin.pdf.  May 16, 2007.

[34] Cooper, Christen C., MS, RD.  “What Goes Up Doesn’t Always Come Down: The Rising Cost of Food.”  Today’s Dietician. 10:8.  http://www.todaysdietitian.com/newarchives/072508p38.shtml.  August 2008.

[35] Hunger and Poverty Statistics.  The Food Bank for Westchester. http://www.foodbankforwestchester.org/learning_center/hunger_poverty_statistics.html

[36] “Childcare and Education.”  Westchester By The Numbers 2008.  Westchester Children’s Association. http://data.wca4kids.org/datadownloads/BTN_5_ChildCareEducation.pdf

[37] Lombardi, Katie Stone. “Report on Children Shows a Diverse County.” The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/13/nyregion/nyregionspecial2/13childrenwe.html?_r=1&scp=6&sq=poverty%20westchester%20county&st=cse.  April 13, 2008.

[38] “Childcare and Education.”  Westchester By The Numbers 2008.  Westchester Children’s Association. http://data.wca4kids.org/datadownloads/BTN_5_ChildCareEducation.pdf

[39] Pierorazio, Bernard P. “Letter: Pockets of Poverty.” The New York Times. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9B06E1DF143FF933A15757C0A96E9C8B63&scp=3&sq=poverty%20westchester%20county&st=cse. April 16, 2008.

[40] “Fast Facts.” Westchester Children’s Association. http://data.wca4kids.org/report/fastfacts?top35indicator=2296234&year1=2005&year2=2004&prev_indicator=2295921.

[41] “The Impact of Hunger on Children.” http://www.endhunger.com/Child%20Impact.html.

[42] Berger, Joseph.  “Caught in the Middle, Without Health Insurance.”  The New York Timeshttp://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/11/nyregion/westchester/11colwe.html?scp=3&sq=westchester%20health&st=cse,  January 8, 2009.

[43] McClellan, Mark B. and Alice M. Rivlin.  “Building a Healthier America.”  McClatchy-Tribune. http://www.brookings.edu/opinions/2009/0403_healthieramerica_mcclellan.aspx.  April 3, 2009.

[44] Lombardi, Katie Stone. “Report on Children Shows a Diverse County.” The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/13/nyregion/nyregionspecial2/13childrenwe.html?_r=1&scp=6&sq=poverty%20westchester%20county&st=cse.  April 13, 2008.

[45] “The Health Care and Social Costs of the Uninsured in New York State.”  Fiscal Policy Institute. http://www.fiscalpolicy.org/publications2007/FPI_CostsofUninsured_Dec07.pdf.  December 2007.

[46] “Childcare and Education.”  Westchester By The Numbers 2008.  Westchester Children’s Associationhttp://data.wca4kids.org/datadownloads/BTN_5_ChildCareEducation.pdf

[47] Lombardi, Katie Stone. “Report on Children Shows a Diverse County.” The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/13/nyregion/nyregionspecial2/13childrenwe.html?_r=1&scp=6&sq=poverty%20westchester%20county&st=cse.  April 13, 2008.

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