Sometimes, with so much focus on poverty abroad, we forget that poverty is present here in the United States. And things are likely going to get a little bit worse before they get better. Penn State has a project on poverty in America, and it reports the following:
Perhaps the biggest disconnect between the recently released statistics on poverty and current economic conditions is the recent rise in unemployment and the stagnation in family incomes. Over the years of 2000-2006, median family income did not change appreciably. In 2006, median family income was two percent below 2000. During the same period, earnings for men declined 3 percent while women experienced a 2.3 percent decline in their incomes. According to the Center for American Progress, even with the reported increase of 1.7 percent in median household income from 2006 to 2007, incomes are still .6 percent below the level of 2000.
In such times as these, it is important for those of us who have been a bit more fortunate to help others. Fighting poverty may be one of the biggest moral imperatives of our time. Why is it, in what has been called the wealthiest nation in history, do we still have poverty? Why is it that we have millions of children who cannot get adequate health care? Why is it, when so many people throw food out, can we not feed our people?
Poverty in Utah
Poverty can even be seen here in Utah. 1 in 10 Utahns lives in poverty. Additionally, Utah is ranked #5 in terms of highest rates of food insecurity. (You can read more about hunger and poverty in Utah and the U.S. uPlej.) These numbers are probably startling to many who live in this state. Often we think about poverty and hunger as issues that afflict people in the “mission field.” However, it is right here in our backyard. And it is important to address this problem.
What you can do to help fight poverty
You can any number of things to help fight poverty. Raising awareness is just one thing you can do. But you can also donate to food pantries, soup kitchens, educational outreach programs and efforts to help build affordable housing. One of the great things about helping out is that you do not have to give large amounts of money. If you have time and skills, you can employ these in the fight against poverty.
More Blog Action Day posts on poverty
Taxgirl shares a story about the power one person can have in the fight against poverty.
Deborah Ng points out that reading can be a weapon in the fight against poverty.
ProBlogger reflects on poverty.
Pundit Mom points out that, yes, poverty still exists. Maybe even next door or down the street.
Vered at MomGrind explores the idea of a society in which no one was rich — but poverty was gone.
Freelance Parent offers some insight into poverty.
MOMocrats shares some statistics on poverty around the world.
My posts on poverty for Blog Action Day:
Education and fighting poverty