Poverty Commission Report Notes Maryland's Wealth Hides Significant Problems

The commission that was appointed under past Governor Glendening to study poverty in Maryland released its findings on August 27 at an emergency feeding site located at Wildwood Parkway United Methodist Church in Baltimore.

This report confirms that pockets of concentrated poverty are invisible in the midst of the general prosperity in Maryland. Hunger, homelessness, high levels of the uninsured and low education levels are characteristic of these areas of concentration that are increasing in number across the state. While Baltimore is the most visible of these concentrated areas, with one in every four of its citizens experiencing poverty, prosperous jurisdictions like Montgomery County have experienced a 40% increase in families living in poverty (2000 Census).

This is taking place in a state that boasts a median income of $52,868 and an unemployment rate that is 2% below the national average. The Governor's Commission on Poverty report endorses the "self-sufficiency standard" as a more appropriate gauge of the cost of living in Maryland and suggests in its recommendations that giving the poor increased access to health insurance, appropriate wages, affordable housing and adequate education will help to eliminate hunger and go a long way to reducing poverty in the state.


A copy of the report is available at here.


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This story was published on September 18, 2003.