Lakewood, NJ – A week of high profile arrests have cast the public spotlight on Lakewood, where nearly half of the township’s children receive some form of public assistance, according to federal data.
An Asbury Park Press analysis of census data reported that there are 43,600 children under the age of 18 in Lakewood. Of those, 21,600 are the beneficiaries of food stamps, welfare or Supplemental Security Income and Lakewood’s median household income of $40,983 is the 26th lowest in New Jersey.
The average age in the township is 22.4 years, 17 years younger than the state average.
Rabbi Moshe Zev Weisberg of the Lakewood Vaad said that many in the township are extremely concerned about this week’s arrests and have contacted the vaad for advice. Most are worried about relatively minor issues, said Weisberg, such as failing to report cash gifts or tuition payments made by family members on behalf of their children.
The Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office warned that more arrests will be forthcoming.