Poverty and Children in the United States

Essay by PathlotCollege, UndergraduateA, January 2011

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The United States of America...the land of the free and the home of the brave, a country that is considered to be the world's current super power, is trillions of dollars in debt, and has almost 40 million families with 20 million children living within low-income levels (Mailman School of Public Health , 2010). Being a super nation that boasts about living the American dream, where an immigrant can become rich in an instant, the typical American family does not live this fantastic lifestyle.

Based on the typical American income and The Mailman School of Public Health (2010) website 41% (29,879,325) of children live in low-income families, defined as income below 200% of the federal poverty level. An additional 19% (13,967,349) of children live in poor families, defined as income below 100% of the federal poverty level. Regardless of whether these children are classified as low-income or poor they all share commonalities.

Their home environment is less than appealing and many children have poor health because of inadequate health care or access to routine checkup visits to doctors. Many of theses families try to buy food for everyone in the family; however, this does not always fulfill the nutritional needs of the children. Nutritious food is not always cost effective for families and it can be hard to afford. Although many children may be receiving food it is not always the nutritional food they need to be receiving, if they are receiving food at all. Part of the problem stems from parents or guardians needing to work long hours in low-income jobs, and when they get home they don't have adequate time to prepare nutritious meals. An example would be a guardian working at McDonalds. The owner lets the employee take home leftover food they would otherwise discard. The...