U.S. poverty: Burden on mothers, children

by Kathryn Reid, World Vision

Not much has changed, according to the annual income report from the U.S. Census Bureau—and that's not good news.

About 46.2 million Americans were living in poverty in 2011.

The U.S. median income for 2011, at $50,054, showed a modest 1.5 percent decline from 2010.

The national poverty rate remained at 15 percent, statistically unchanged from the 2010 rate of 15.1 percent.

Many mothers and children are barely scraping by.

More than half (57.2 percent) of related children under age 6 in female-headed households were in poverty. Overall, 21.9 percent of children under 18 were living in poverty.

"Poverty in America remains tough on children. Kids and their parents are going to struggle to have their needs met," says Romanita Hairston, World Vision's vice president of U.S. programs. "What’s most troubling to me is generational poverty that’s more difficult to overcome."

The Census Bureau report, Income, Poverty, and Insurance Rates in the United States: 2011, can be downloaded here (pdf).

 

How You Can Help

No matter how you would answer that question, you can do something now.

World Vision is encouraging Americans to volunteer virtually by purchasing food kits, or pre-packaged meals, available online. Each kit contains three to four meal packets (breakfast, lunch, dinner), or enough food to feed a family of five for one day by providing sustenance such as oatmeal, lentil soup, and pasta. When we reach out to help others—the way that we ought to be as so many of our fellow Americans are struggling—we are building a better future for everyone.

The challenges we face as a nation are not minor, but they can be overcome. And today, I still have optimism, despite the frustration and the difficulties. Our hope is that we will join together in that optimism on behalf of children and youth in the United States.

You can join World Vision's efforts to provide assistance for struggling American children and families. Make a donation today to help bring hope in the midst of these difficult times.

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