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May 18, 2009

CBS Reports With Katie Couric - Children of the Recession

Katie09 On days when there’s bad economic news I sometimes dread reporting it.  At times, it seems relentless. There have been days when I almost feel like I should replace “Good Evening” with “I’m sorry.”

I think the most compelling stories demonstrate how the recession affects real people, and particularly children.  Whether they are just scared by the news they see on TV, or they live in a house where there is not enough to eat, the things they are hearing and experiencing right now will make a lasting impression on their lives.

Since this recession began sixteen months ago, one million children have lost their health insurance as their parents lose their jobs. With nearly two million more home foreclosures expected, the number of homeless children will continue to rise.

While not all families are feeling an impact as dramatic as that, without a doubt everyone is in some way affected by this recession. And the ones who bear no responsibility for the crisis, our children, are often shouldering the bulk of the consequences.

All this week on the CBS Evening News and the Early Show, we’ll be featuring stories about children who are struggling and the people who are offering hope…and solutions. It is part of an ongoing network-wide commitment called “Children of the Recession.”

Tonight, you’ll see my report on a family in Chicago; Two young girls, Lawrie, 10, and Isabel, 5, are living with a temporary family through a program called Safe Families until their mom can figure out means to support them once again. When a police officer found them on the street, Isabel’s feet were swollen and bleeding from walking all day…with nowhere to go.

This evening we’re also releasing some brand new poll results.  They are “embargoed” until the broadcast, but I’m going to share a couple of the numbers with you, anyway.(Don’t tell anyone. LOL!)

The poll found that 56% of parents surveyed have discussed the economy with their kids, and half of all parents have discussed their own family’s financial situation. These conversations can be very uncomfortable, particularly if a parent has lost a job or is struggling to pay the bills.

Another poll statistic I found interesting concerned diet. 21% of parents said they are now buying generic brands and less expensive food items for their children.

There’s nothing wrong with store brands or generic brands. I do worry, though, that by “less expensive,” some people are pushed into choices that may not be as healthy, like fast food & meals, that could have a long-lasting impact on children, as well.

What changes have you made as a consequence of the recession?  What questions have your children asked? Do you have real stories about children and the recession to share? Let me know.

There are resources out there to help if you need it, and ways that YOU can help a family in need.  There’s more information here

Link: CBS Reports Children of Recession

This is an original post to NYC Moms Blog.

Katie Couric is the anchor and managing editor of the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric.

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