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Wed, June 29

Community View | Child tax credit needs to be preserved

While families are counting down to the holidays, many are also anxiously watching a different clock – the one that is running out for Congress to take meaningful action to address hunger and poverty in communities here in Arizona and nationwide.

Unless Congress acts before the end of the year, families will get their last monthly check this month through the enhanced Child Tax Credit, one of the programs of the Build Back Better Act now under consideration in the Senate.

This benefit has been a lifeline for families, helping them afford necessities like food, rent, diapers and utilities, and keeping millions of kids from slipping into poverty.

If Congress doesn’t extend the enhanced Child Tax Credit, 27 million kids nationwide will lose out on this full benefit, including 690,000 in Arizona whose families previously didn’t qualify because their incomes are too low.

But there are other things at stake if Congress doesn’t pass the Build Back Better Act.

This legislation is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to help end child hunger.

It could make school meals available to millions more kids – more than 390,000 in Arizona alone – by expanding a program called the Community Eligibility Provision.

And, it would take giant strides in tackling summer hunger by making the Summer EBT program available in all 50 states, reaching more than 620,000 kids in Arizona.

An opportunity to do this much for so many kids is truly rare.

With 1-in-5 kids in Arizona facing hunger today, Senators Sinema and Kelly must act now and pass the Build Back Better Act.

(Erica Olmstead represents No Kid Hungry Arizona while Angie Rogers is with the Arizona Food Bank Network.)

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