ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Community leaders in Rochester gathered Saturday, calling for Congress to expand the Child Tax Credit and Earned Income Tax Credit as Congress reviews their end-of-the-year federal budget.

A conference was also held simultaneously in New York City.

In 2021, the Child Tax Credit was temporarily expanded as part of the American Rescue Plan. This resulted in a 40% reduction in child poverty nationwide, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Since the expansion ended, nearly 4 million children across the U.S. have fallen back into poverty.

The organizations who came together for this event today said the action would demonstrate that congress will put families first.

“As we know and has been stated Rochester has one of the highest poverty rates in the country at about 30%, and in particular one of the highest rates of childhood poverty at 48% of children in Rochester,” Rebekah Meyer with the Rochester-Monroe Anti-Poverty Initiative said. “For children, poverty can mean unstable housing, inadequate nutrition, and high levels of family stress.”

According to The Children’s Agenda, 90% of Monroe County parents support providing tax credits to families with young children.

“Childhood poverty has long lasting impacts on individuals, families and communities,” Meyer said. “It’s causes are deep rooted and addressing poverty requires disrupting systems, and structures that have been in place for generations.”