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Poverty in the United States By Frank Spotorno

  • Broadcast in Business
George Maris

George Maris


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As America is the wealthiest and most bountiful nation in the world, it is no surprise that many Americans think of hunger and poverty occurring only in developing countries. While most Americans have encountered someone suffering from hunger and poverty in the United States, few of us may have actually realized it.

The face of hunger and poverty in the United States is quite different from the images we often see in developing nations.

Rather than outright starvation or homelessness, the face of hunger is a child who is malnourished because her parents do not earn enough to buy healthy food and sometimes has to skip meals. The face of a poor person in the United States is a single parent who works full time, but still can’t afford to pay for food, rent, child care, medical bills, and the costs of transportation to work.

It is ironic that hunger and poverty still persist in the world’s wealthiest nation. The latest Census Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Data released in September 2015, has some good news and bad news about poverty in America, along with important insights into what has worked to reduce the some of the impact. Of course these numbers do not speak about those working and near the poverty line or the impact on feelings of hope and dignity. In 2014, about 46.7 million Americans (15.0 percent) lived below the poverty line ($24,250 for a family of four in 2014) and the poverty rate for children was 19.5 percent.

Why hasn't anyone address this issue?