December 28, 2004

The changing face of poverty

Fear and hunger walk hand in hand with poverty, and last year 12.6 million American households -- 11.2 percent of all American homes -- were afraid they might not be able to put enough food on the table, according to the Census Bureau. That's up more than 1.6 million households from the year 2000.

How are these families coping? They eat less varied meals, visit shelters and get food assistance from food banks and emergency kitchens. Of these families, 3.9 million said that one or more members of the family actually went hungry last year -- an 18.2 percent increase from 2000.

A recent report by the outplacement firm Challenger Gray and Christmas found that many food banks are in "crisis mode." In Ohio, for example, the Ohio Food Bank has seen the number of people requiring assistance jump 17 to 20 percent this year, "with a significant increase in the number of working poor."

Millions of working Americans are struggling to find adequate food, health care and housing for their families. Unable to earn a living wage, many have resorted to food banks and community centers for help. But according to the Challenger report, many of those institutions say that making the increased demand even worse is the fact that "donations and government funding are at all-time lows."

Thanks - W (read more)

Posted by Crazy Eddie at December 28, 2004 10:15 PM