Poverty

April 29, 2008
By
Yes, Poverty exists in America. The richest country on the planet. According to the US census Bureau nearly 35.9% of Americans live in poverty. Thats nearly 110 million people for a country that has trillions of dollars. Despite the abandunce of food available, nearly 100 billion pounds of food is wasted in America. 700 million starving people around the world would greatly appreciate that wasted food.

This is a clear sign that we take for granted the large number of resources that are available to us. At school you see students throwing away nearly half there lunch. I say if you pay $2.40 for lunch and you throw away half you lunch, you pay up $1.20, that could feed upto 6 people in several foreign countries.

United States is a nation that only makes up 6% of the world and has 20% of the worlds' food (hence the 'obesity' crisis). If every country was given a fair share of food maybe there would be less bloodshed around the world for a piece of bread.

The home morgage crisis doesn't help much. Every month the number of foreclosures increases. More and more people cannot afford there payments. No government help at all. Heres an idea, for every house that is about to go into foreclosure the government refinances the house for a lower morgage payment, the initial owners of the house would still be able to live there, with the governments help of course.

The Iraq war has made prices all over the world higher. The Sam's club made an announcement 2 days ago that the max number of bags of rice you can buy is 4 bags because of shortages, 16% of rice producers are keeping the rice for there own countries. Plus the cost of gas for the trucks is really high, the only thing companies can do to afford to transport all these goods is to raise prices of produce. Not only that only is food going up, pretty much everything is starting to cost more.

What about all those people who make minimum wage. Rents are going higher, the wages are staying the same. Areas which used to be middle class neighborhoods are on the verge of becoming a ghetto.

Heres a statistic on poverty in America (a little outdated but you get the point):

-In 2004, requests for emergency food assistance increased by an average of 14 percent during the year, according to a 27-city study by the United States Conference of Mayors.

-Also in this study, it was noted that on average, 20 percent of requests for emergency food assistance have gone unmet in 2004.

-According to the Bread for the World Institute (http://www.bread.org/hungerbasics/domestic.html) 3.5 percent of U.S. households experience hunger. Some people in these households frequently skip meals or eat too little, sometimes going without food for a whole day. 9.6 million people, including 3 million children, live in these homes.

-America's Second Harvest (http://www.secondharvest.org/), the nation's largest network of food banks, reports that 23.3 million people turned to the agencies they serve in 2001, an increase of over 2 million since 1997. Forty percent were from working families.
33 million Americans continue to live in households that did not have an adequate supply of food. Nearly one-third of these households contain adults or children who went hungry at some point in 2000.

U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, March 2002, "Household Food Security in the United States, 2000"





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