MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The founder and president of the Children's Defense Fund says the nation needs to do a better job of protecting, teaching and nurturing children.

Marian Wright Edelman spoke Monday at an annual breakfast honoring Martin Luther King, Jr.

About 2,000 people attended the event at the Minneapolis Convention Center.

Edelman says it's important to invest now, so every child has a chance to contribute to this changing world. She says about 16 million children are in poverty in the U.S., and problems linked to child poverty cost more than $500 billion per year.

In St. Paul, an annual march was shortened to about two blocks. Metro Transit Police Chief John Harrington says the change wasn't due to the cold, but marchers were still relieved.

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