Press call:  Tennessee’s Childhood Poverty Crisis and the State’s Use of Federal Funds


What          A panel of national and state experts on child development and public policy will discuss how the state can use its Federal TANF resources to address critical unmet needs in Tennessee and why the choices the states makes matter for our long-term future.  Panelists will talk about the prevalence and long-term impacts  of childhood poverty in Tennessee, describe efforts already underway in the state to help families meet their basic needs that could be expanded and provide additional options, drawing from the experiences of other states, for getting additional resources to families to improve children’s long-term academic and employment prospects.

Who           Linda O’Neal, former Executive Director of the Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth

                    Emily Partin, Director of Grundy County Schools’ Family Resource Center in Tracy City

                    Whitney Cowles, Director of Nutrition & Program Assurance, Second Harvest of Middle TN


                    LaDonna Pavetti, Vice President for Family Income Support, Center on Budget & Policy Priorities

When        Thursday, November 14, 2019 – 11:30 a.m. Central/12:30 Eastern [45 min., including Q & A]

Why           Nearly one in four TN children are growing up in poverty, and half of those are in extreme poverty. Tennesseans are calling for action after learning that state government has nearly a billion dollars in unused federal funds that are intended to help improve the well-being of children living in poverty.  Those funds can and should be used to make a significant difference in the lives of Tennesseans who struggle to afford the basics.  Childhood poverty can harm children’s health, mental health and economic prospects over their entire lifetimes, at enormous cost to society.  With attention now focused on the state’s management and use (or nonuse) of those funds, this briefing will discuss how the state can make the best use of this opportunity to address Tennessee’s childhood poverty crisis.

Dial-in Information

Call-in Number: 1 (866) 939-3921

Passcode: 49198583#


The Tennessee Justice Center (TJC) is a non-profit public interest law and advocacy firm serving families in Tennessee. It gives priority to policy issues and civil cases in which the most basic necessities of life are at stake and where advocacy can benefit needy families statewide. TJC works to empower its clients by holding government accountable for its policies and actions.

TJC was established in 1996 and is located at 211 Seventh Avenue, North, Nashville, TN. For additional information about the Tennessee Justice Center and its services, call 615-255-0331.



Anna Walton, Tennessee Justice Center

(615) 846-4725