Florida, like many states across the nation, has a poverty problem. Nearly one in four Florida children live in poverty. More than three million Floridians are on food stamps, and more than half of all Florida students are eligible for free and reduced lunches and more than 3.3 million Floridians don’t know where their next meal will come from. There will always be poverty, the kind that results from temporary setbacks such as job loss, sudden illness, foreclosures, or unexpected challenges, and the Florida Chamber believes social safety nets are needed and necessary to help bridge the crises. The goal of these programs should be to get Americans who have fallen on hard times back on their feet. Florida’s business community can help break this cycle and create greater opportunities for the next generation. By incorporating greater educational opportunities and allowing free enterprise to create more private-sector jobs, we can make generational poverty a thing of the past and the American Dream of economic freedom a reality.

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