Elizabeth Schulte writes about people being killed in a world of plenty:

EVERY MINUTE of every day, 13 children die around the world of hunger and malnutrition. That’s the finding of the United Nations World Food Program (WFP). Its latest report shows that 18,000 children die each day–or 750 each hour–of malnutrition and its related diseases.

According to WFP, 850 million people are hungry or malnourished around the world on any given day. That is one in six of the world’s population–or more than the combined population of the U.S., Russia, Japan, Germany, Britain and France. Half of the world’s hungry are children.

In the world’s wealthiest country, the United States, nearly 16 million people are living in deep or severe poverty, according to an analysis of 2005 census figures by the McClatchy Newspapers. That’s more than the total population of New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and San Francisco.

What’s so striking about this study is how many people had fallen into even deeper poverty than before. Today, 43 percent of the 37 million poor people in the U.S. have plunged into deep poverty–the highest rate since at least 1975.

[...]

Meanwhile, the U.S. government plans to spend at least $650 billion this year on the military.

If this starve-the-poor-to-feed-Corporate-America policy continues, the future is a grim one for working America.

Read entire article by Elizabeth Schulte.

I find it odd to call the United States wealthy.

Why judge a nation by how we treat its highest citizens? Since the rich usually control the government, doesn’t their well-being most often correlate with the amount of corruption?

I say, judge a nation by how it treats its lowest citizens – the poor, the sick, the wrongfully imprisoned. From this perspective, I do NOT see the socially unequal United States, with its high rising poverty rates, as wealthy.

I am not a religous person, but still I agree with the Christian message that says, “Inasmuch as ye have done it to one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it to me.” (Matthew 24:40)

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 | Posted by | Categories: Facts and Figures, Poverty News |

Poverty’s True Face

27 February 2007

Jesse Jackson recently wrote an article in which he says America has a poor excuse for poverty. He writes:

We glimpsed misery in America during Katrina, as the poor were stranded in the storm. But those shocking pictures were misleading. America has a growing poverty problem, but it doesn’t look like New Orleans.

Most poor people are not black or brown. Most poor people are white. They are disproportionately young, female and single. Most of them are not on welfare. They work every day that they can — but they still cannot lift their families out of poverty.

An analysis of 2005 census figures by Tony Pugh for McClatchy Newspapers revealed almost 16 million Americans living in “deep or severe poverty,” with the percentage of the poor living in severe poverty reaching a 32-year high. Our rich are getting richer and our poor, poorer.

Read entire article by Jesse Jackson.

I highly recommend reading the entire article.

Jesse Jackson points out a serious misconception. Many people think of poor people as minorities, criminals, or the unemployed. I think that the corporate-owned media portrays this falsehood, because it makes people less upset about poverty and hunger. Sadly, if we look at the true of face of poverty, we see a young, tired, and overworked single mother, who will probably never have the opportunity escape the rat race.

What do you think?

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 | Posted by | Categories: Poverty News |

The Hunger & Poverty Forums are currently having a post contest in which you can win $40.

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 | Posted by | Categories: Site Updates |

A recent America Magazine editorial addresses homelessness:

While most people think of homelessness in terms of single men, roughly a third of the homeless population is made up of families, many of them headed by single parents. Families represent an especially vulnerable segment of the homeless population because of the presence of children. Advocates for the homeless point out that the disruption in the lives of children from living in shelters can lead to such health problems as respiratory and intestinal infections, along with psychological trauma. Their overall health status is far worse than that of children in homes. The trauma can be exacerbated when family members must separate upon entering shelters, with fathers and older male children often sent to shelters for men. Hardest of all is the fact that because of “lack of resources,” 86 percent of families may be turned away. Little wonder that families have resorted to sleeping in cars, under bridges or in wooded areas.

Adding to the struggles of homeless people is a strong sentiment against them. This has led to municipal ordinances that punish homeless people primarily because they have no stable housing. Aimed at banishing them from public places, statutes of this kind prohibit begging, lying down, sitting or “loitering.” Las Vegas offers an example. In July 2006 it passed an ordinance that makes sharing food with destitute or homeless people in public places a crime. Violation of the statute can be punishable by up to six months in jail. Nevada’s A.C.L.U. has filed a federal suit against Las Vegas, claiming that the ordinance violates the constitutional right to free assembly and free speech.

Homelessness is a solvable national problem, but the needed resources have not been forthcoming from the federal government.

Read entire America Magazine editorial.

Nobody has an obligation to help homeless people, but for the government to make laws that outlaw helping them seems absurdly atrocious. Regardless of these laws, let’s put an end to homelessness, a preventable problem.

Passive indignation cannot suffice. We must actively work to get homes for the poor innocent children who suffer on the brutal streets of America. These children cannot grow into healthy, happy, self-sufficient adults if they grow up in such devastating conditions. We all benefit by helping put an end to this preventable problem.

What do you think?

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 | Posted by | Categories: Homelessness |

Hindu.com reports on the new UN anthem for the fight against poverty:

Poverty has no caste or gender, but it now has a voice in the form of music virtuoso A R Rahman, whose English single “Pray For Me Brother” will be the UN’s anthem for its Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) campaign.

The MDGs comprise a set of eight promises by world governments to end poverty, hunger and disease by 2015.

After rocking India with his “Vande Mataram”, Rahman’s first English song, released by Universal Music, is his call to wipe poverty off the face of the earth.

Read entire Hindu.com article.

The power of music and art can help raise awareness and concern. The UN can’t end poverty and hunger on its own. Hopefully powerful songs such as Rahman’s will inspire more people to get involved.

What do you think?

 | Posted by | Categories: Poverty News |

Malungelo Booi reports that students in South African schools commit suicide due to hunger:

HUNGER and desperation are driving pupils at a school near Mthatha to commit suicide, according to the principal.

More than a quarter of the pupils at Upper Corana High School, in Misty Mount near Mthatha, may be HIV/Aids orphans, and the high scholar suicide rate has become a matter of concern to provincial authorities.

Suthukazi Lujabe, the school’s principal, said most of the pupils walk long distances on empty stomachs to get to school.

She said every year from 2001 to 2006, one or two pupils killed themselves at the school due to hunger.

Read entire article by Malungelo Booi.

Such suicides demonstrate the terrible agony of which these poor children suffer. Even worse, think of the 18,000 children who involuntarily die from hunger. They suffer in hunger pains that would drive some to suicide, which leads to their slow death.

How can we expect children to learn in a school with such hunger?

The world has more than enough food to feed everyone. Why do we allow hunger to continue?!

What do you think?

 | Posted by | Categories: Education, Poverty News |
Children suffering from Poverty