Texas child poverty rates for 2010, just released by The Annie E. Casey Foundation (datacenter.kidscount.org), show that around one in four Texas children live in poverty.
For 2010, the statewide poverty rate for children 17 and under is 25.7 percent. The county with the highest child poverty rate in the KTXS viewing area is Haskell County with 39.4 percent. The county with the lowest child poverty rate in the KTXS viewing area is Kent County with 16.8 percent.
The child poverty rate in Taylor County nearly reflects the state average with 24.3 percent.
The Christian Service Center in Abilene is just one organization that serves low-income families. During their summertime Operation Blue Jeans program, they have seen so many children that it is becoming hard to serve them quickly.
"We've only been doing this 14 days and we've already helped 107 children." Jim Clark, director of the Christian Service Center said. "So our waiting room is packed with families and there's just a great demand this summer."
The program provides new clothing, school supplies and a bible to low-income, school-aged children.
"We have people who have jobs, are working. They just need help providing clothes for their kids and other things," he said.
Volunteer coordinator Roberta Bryan said the phones have been ringing off the hook with parents trying to schedule appointments for their children to come in and get new clothes.
"They just don't have enough money to stretch to buy the clothes and the food, pay the rent and pay the bills," she said.
The center has had so many callers and walk-in visitors that it is creating a back-log.
"Many people have called for several days and get the same answer, by the time they've talked to someone, we've already filled up," she said. "But we encourage them to keep trying because we have plenty of clothes and we want to help all the kids that we can."
Operation Blue Jeans ends August 27. If you want to make a donation or schedule an appointment, you can call the Christian Service Center at (325) 673-7531.