The following are from How Poor Are America's Poor? Examining the "Plague" of Poverty in America from last August. I'll work to get information directly from the US census and other sources, but it was a challenge to find some of the hunger numbers from their poverty section; that information was retrieved from other sources referenced by the article.
- "There were 37 million poor persons living in this country in 2005"; that's 12.6%. ("This number has varied from 11.3 percent to 15.1 percent of the population over the past 20 years")
OK, fine. I want to help everyone make it out of poverty. But I'm not going too far out of my way and I don't want any government intervention for many of that number:
- 42% own their own homes
- 36% own a computer
I grew up without those things; it's not a crisis if you're at that level.
The worst hardships are when it is difficult to keep adequate food, clothing, and shelter. Those are the people with immediate needs that I really want to help with money and direct assistance.
- No data at all is shown for malnutrition; I'm guessing it's too small for measurement. "The intake of nutriments is very similar for poor and middle-class children and is generally well above the recommended daily level. For example, the consumption of protein (a relatively expensive nutriment) among poor children is, on average, between 150 percent and 267 percent of the RDA."
- "For example, two indicators of undernutrition among the young are "thinness" (low weight for height) and stuntedness (low height for age). These problems are rare to nonexistent among poor American children." "The World Health Organization standards assume that even in a very well-nourished population, 2.3 percent of children will have heights below the "stunted" cut-off levels due to normal genetic factors." We're at 2.6%.
- "Some 1.8 percent of all households [and 6% of poor] report they "sometimes" did not have enough food to eat during the previous four months, while 0.4 percent [and 1.5% of poor] say they "often" did not have enough food."
- "13 percent of poor households with children report that their children sometimes or often did not have enough food to eat during the past four months."
- "For example, across the whole U.S. population, in a given month, one child in three hundred will skip a meal because of the family's lack of money for food. One child in a thousand will go a whole day without eating for the same reason."
People need help. It's very sad for kids to skip a whole day of food, and it looks like abut 78,000 go hungry for a day in any month. Sad.
But the story is a far cry from the widespread destitution that some people preach: .1% of kids go a day without food. Think of how far we've come! Don't try and let anyone convince you that our government has to get involved and force their solutions to fix this "emergency".