U.S. poverty: Burden on mothers and children

The national poverty rate remained at 15 percent, statistically unchanged from the 2010 rate of 15.1 percent.

By Kathryn Reid and Shawna Templeton, World Vision U.S.
Published September 13, 2012 at 12:00am PDT

Not much has changed, according to the annual income report  from the U.S. Census Bureau — and that’s not good news.

About 46.2 million  Americans were living in poverty in 2011.

Rate remains basically the same

The U.S. median income for 2011, at $50,054, showed a modest 1.5 percent decline   from 2010.

The national poverty rate remained at 15 percent, statistically unchanged from the 2010 rate of 15.1 percent.

Mothers and children barely scraping by

More than half (57.2 percent ) of related children under age 6 in female-headed households were in poverty in 2011. Overall, 21.9 percent of children under 18 were living in poverty.

“Poverty in America remains tough on children. Kids and their parents are going to struggle to have their needs met,” says Romanita Hairston, World Vision’s vice president of U.S. programs. “What’s most troubling to me is generational poverty that’s more difficult to overcome.”

World Vision’s response

As a child-focused organization, World Vision partners with local organizations in economically challenged urban and rural communities across the United States to help equip local partners with the knowledge and resources needed to help children thrive.

We help empower local organizations by providing goods, which are then distributed to families in need. Products — many of which are donated by manufacturers and corporate donors — include essential supplies such as clothing, hygiene items, household goods, and building supplies.

Children in communities struggling with poverty are most at risk to drop out of school or engage in descructive behavior. Through the Youth Empowerment Program, World Vision mentors, trains, and encourages young people to lead positive change in their communities. Teens develop skills in leadership, civic engagement, critical thinking, team building, and other vital areas.

For younger children, World Vision’s KidREACH program provides academic mentoring. The program equips and trains volunteers to tutor struggling students from low-income families.

We also are prepared to respond to disasters in the United States. World Vision provides critical resources for distribution following disasters in U.S. communities. These products are drawn from existing resources, pre-positioned in locations susceptible to disaster.

How you can help

Pray for economically struggling families in the United States. Pray that they would gain access to the opportunities and resources needed for a family to thrive.

Make a one-time gift to help where most needed in the United States. Your gift will help provide the basics children living in poverty need to flourish in our country — essentials like food, clothing, school supplies, academic mentoring, training, and more.