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Gap Between Black and white children

The COVID-19 pandemic will have an outsized impact on Black Georgians, who are overrepresented in the low-wage workforce, so support for the safety net is critical for preventing the widening of racial disparities. Georgia’s harsh rules and disinvestment have impacted Black families, who, because slavery and segregation led to current unjust policies that reinforce poverty, make up 70 percent of recipients. The overrepresentation of Black families in TANF has undoubtedly resulted in policy changes that make the program punitive. Moreover, the use of funds for purposes other than basic assistance affects Black families; states that spend more on basic assistance are able to narrow the poverty gap between Black and white children.[5] NRST benefits can help boost incomes for Black families, helping to make sure they do not fall further behind during the economic crisis.

Issuing NRST during this crisis will extend TANF’s reach by providing much-needed financial relief to these families that are on the verge of being pushed deeper into poverty.

You can download our fact sheet on TANF funding and COVID-19 here.

[1] U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Administration for Children and Families. (2020). Questions and answers about TANF and the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

[2] U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Administration for Children and Families. (2019). TANF and MOE spending and transfers by activity, FY 2018.

[3] Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. (2020, March 4). TANF should reach many more families in Georgia.

[4] Camardelle, A. (2020). Repeal Georgia’s cap on kids. Georgia Budget and Policy Institute.

[5] Parolin, Z. (2019). Temporary assistance for needy families and the Black–White child poverty gap in the United States. Socio-Economic Review.

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