Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Blog Action Day - Poverty (In America)

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Poverty: Deprivation of common necessities that determine the quality of life, including food, clothing, shelter and safe drinking water, and may also include the deprivation of opportunities to learn, to obtain better employment to escape poverty, and/or to enjoy the respect of fellow citizens.
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Poverty Rising: There are over 37 million poor Americans. Most Americans living in poverty work, but still cannot afford to make ends meet.
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Minimum Wage is Not Enough: Even when a parent works full-time earning minimum wage and EITC and food stamps are factored into their income, families are still $1,550 below the federal poverty line because of the flat-lined minimum wage.
(Thanks Wikipedia)
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I thought it might be a good idea, at this time in our history, to talk about poverty right here in the United States, and the faces of hunger. Although most people think of hungry people, and homeless people as the same, the problem of hunger goes far beyond the homelessness. The face of hunger is the older couple who worked hard their entire lives only to find their savings lost by unavoidable medical bills; or a single mom who has to choose if the salary from her minimum wage job should go to buy food or pay rent; or a child who struggles to concentrate at school because his family couldn't afford dinner the night before.
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We should think about those people the next time we're are at the grocery store, and pick up a few more canned goods, and donate them to our local Food Bank. If you don't know where it is or how to make a donation use the information below.
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To find your local food bank click on this link -- Feeding America.
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Feeding America is the largest charitable hunger-relief organization in the country addressing the problem of domestic hunger by distributing more than 2 billion pounds of donated food and grocery product annually to more than 25 million hungry people in the United States, including 9 million children and nearly 3 million seniors.
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Shocking Facts
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My husband and I often talk about all that beautiful food we see in the grocery store, and restaurants, and wonder how much of it is dumped in a trash bin every day. A study by the Department of Agriculture estimated that 96.4 billion pounds of the 356 billion pounds of edible food in the United States was never eaten. It ended up in a landfill. The scary part? This statistic is almost 13 years old!!
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(Photo found at the Capital Area Food Bank of Texas website)
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One More Thing
A great website worth checking out is The National Center for Children in Poverty .
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Poverty 101 - Why should Americans care about family economic hardship? In addition to the harmful consequences for children, high rates of economic hardship exact a serious toll on the U.S. economy. Economists estimate that child poverty costs the U.S. $500 billion a year in lost productivity in the labor force and spending on health care and the criminal justice system. Each year, child poverty reduces productivity and economic output by about 1.3 percent of GDP.
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8 comments:

Krissy said...

wow. the landfill stat blows me away! how terrible...

Sabina said...

It really is shocking!!

Content in a Cottage said...

Sabina...You really did your homework for this important post. GREAT JOB!
Rosemary

Pigtown-Design said...

Great article!

pve design said...

The blogging world is a force to get behind so much that is broken and needs to be fixed. My father has had a food business which he started in 1945 and this would sadden him to see. He brought home so much to our family of seven children and we cleaned, peeled, cooked and ate things that would otherwise be deemed garbage. We need to fix this. It is not right.
I am going to post on this - soon and get behind another worthy cause.
Thanks for bringing this to the light!

corine said...

Well done Sabina. That piled of trashed food is mind boggling. It's like we know, but without really knowing. Yikes.

Sabina said...

Thanks pve design -- my parents grew up in The Great Depression and were fortunate enough to live on farms so they never went hungry, but they have taught me through their stories, and example the value of not being wasteful and caring about others.

Sabina said...

Thanks too Corine!! I really enjoyed your post on Blog Action Day!!

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