In partnership with nonprofit and for-profit partners, the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation has launched a ten-year, $100 million initiative aimed at helping thousands of children in low-income families, the Associated Press reports.
Designed to narrow the opportunity gap and help young people in the state overcome educational and societal challenges, the initiative, New Hampshire Tomorrow, will invest in early childhood development programs, family and youth supports, alcohol and drug treatment programs, and the creation of affordable paths from education to well-paying jobs.
After expanding smartly through the mid-2000s, New Hampshire's economy has slowed considerably over the last decade, NHCF president Richard Ober told the AP. The state's aging population, employers' struggles to find skilled workers, and an increase in the number of children living in poverty have all contributed to the foundation's new focus on youth.
According to the AP, approximately 11 percent of children in the state (some 28,000) live in poverty, a 6 percent increase since 2000, while 28 percent (46,700) are eligible for free or reduced-price school lunch.
"We have to give kids more opportunities to thrive," said Ober. "It is both a social obligation and an economic imperative."