Preview of Breads 2010 Offering of Letters

January 5, 2010 at 5:59 am Leave a comment

Note: the full Web site for the 2010 Offering of Letters will be availble February 1.

Broader Efforts to Reduce Poverty

In the budget of a low-income family, food is often the most flexible item. People can’t choose to pay less for rent, child care, or transportation—so food is one place a struggling family cuts corners.

We know food assistance to hungry people is vital, but it is not enough. Progress against hunger requires broader efforts to reduce poverty. Low-income families live on the edge of a financial precipice. The car breaking down, a parent being laid off from her job, a child getting sick—any of these can mean the difference between having enough food or not.

Bread for the World’s 2010 Offering of Letters will urge Congress to make changes in tax policy that will help low-income working families make ends meet.

The Earned Income Tax Credit lifts 5 million Americans out of Poverty Each Year
The Earned Income Tax Credit lifts 5 million Americans, including 2.6 million children, above the poverty line. (Photo credit: Eugene Mebane, Jr.)

Taxes will be near the top of the 2010 agenda in Congress because a series of tax cuts will be expiring. In the midst of the debate over which taxes to change and which to renew, the needs of low-income people could easily be lost. Our 2010 Offering of Letters will ask Congress to strengthen key tax credits that can make a big difference for low-income workers and their families.

One of these is the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). It is a refundable tax credit designed to help bridge the gap between low-wage earnings and the costs of meeting basic needs. With an average credit of nearly $2,400 for families with children, the EITC lifts 5 million Americans above the poverty line, including 2.6 million children. The credit is considered by both Democrats and Republicans to be the best anti-poverty measure Congress has passed.

In the coming weeks, we will begin providing Bread members with more information on the 2010 Offering of Letters and why tax policies matter to hungry people. Watch http://www.bread.org/OL2010 for updated materials. Together, we can win improvements for low-income working families.

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