George Soros gives $35m to low-income families for the new school year
As part of a ‘first-of-its-kind’ public-private partnership to help fight poverty in New York, George Soros, chairman of the Open Society Institute, has announced a $35m (£21.5m) gift to provide state-wide support to low-income families who are purchasing supplies and clothing for the new school year.
Back To School New York, a collaborative effort involving the State of New York and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, will provide $200 (£123) per child to the families of the more than 850,000 children receiving public assistance or food stamps in New York State.
The gift was made by the Open Society Institute's sister organisation, the Foundation to Promote Open Society, which Soros also chairs. He said starting the school year right is key to a child’s success. "When I was a student after World War II, I had no money. I received financial help, and I remember how important that was to my education. Since then I have been very fortunate and am happy to have the opportunity today to help others.”
The donation of $35m will go to the State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, which oversees programmes for low-income families. The State will receive an additional $140m (£86m) in funding through the federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families emergency contingency fund.
Governor of New York David Paterson said, “This first-of-its-kind partnership in New York is an example of how the public and private sectors can work together to foster a brighter future for the low-income families of our state.”