The release of statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau this week shows an epidemic of poverty is sweeping across America. Reflect upon these figures: Over 15% of all Americans are now living in poverty which is the highest percentage in nearly two decades. Translated into raw numbers that means 46.2 Americans are now officially poor. This is the largest number of people in poverty in America in 52 years. Simply astounding. And it is America's shame.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the standard for poverty in America is living on less than $22,314 for a family of four. Now think carefully and get out a pen. Imagine you are a family of four that has to pay for rent, food, heat, electric/gas, healthcare, school supplies, clothes, etc. Can you possibly come up with a budget to meet all those basic needs on that amount? So what does that mean?
It means kids are going hungry. Homes will not be heated this winter. Kids won't be able to keep up in schools because of no supplies or learning disabilities because of malnutrition. The poverty rate for children under 18 is at 22% meaning one out of every five children in America is now living in total poverty and 16 million children are going to bed each night hungry. ABC News reports:
"The consequences of malnutrition can be severe. Several studies have shown that food insecurity affects cognitive development among young children. And for older children, students like Foronda, school performance is affected. Additional research shows that with hunger comes more frequent sickness and higher healthcare costs.
Medical research has shown that lack of nutrition can permanently alter a child's brain architecture, stunting intellectual capacity and a child's ability to learn and interact with others."