THE WAR ON POVERTY IN AMERICA
When we talk about child poverty and malnutrition, the Crst images that come to mind for many are the extreme cases in African countries or, closer to us, in Haiti, the poorest country in Latin America in terms of income per person.
But the reality is that almost no country in the world, including the United States, is exempt from a problem that in many places has been deepened by the pandemic and further complicated by the chronic presence of in.ation.
Right here in the United States, almost 7 in 10 low-income families, a high percentage of which are Latino families, reported that it had become more di3cult to pay for enough food for their children in the last year. And 9 out of ten attributed this increase to the increase in the price of food.
The challenges of feeding children are also spreading to middleincome families, where almost 6 in 10 households face di3culties putting food on the table, at a time when the price of food increased 9.5% in the month of February 2023, compared to February 2022.
Such are the results of a new survey published by No Kid Hungry, a national campaign that seeks to end childhood hunger in the United States. It is a dramatic reality that is re.ected in the fact that 68% of lowincome parents reported that it has become more di3cult to buy food in the last year and 74% reported that, in addition to the cost of food, the increase in the costs of other necessities, such as utilities, gas, rent, and clothing, contributed to the di3culty in buying enough food.
A majority of low-income families said an unexpected car repair or unforeseen medical bill made it more di3cult for them to pay for enough food for their children. Among middle-income families, 50% reported the same.
A recent Unidosus survey conCrms that it is a situation where Latino families are being disproportionately affected: almost two-thirds of Latinos residing in California, Texas and Arizona acknowledged that they lack savings of even $500 to cover an emergency and three out of 10 had to borrow money from a relative or friend to cover an unforeseen event.
It is obvious that it is not simply a temporary in.ationary problem, but rather structural circumstances that must be reformed to achieve better wages for low-income people, cheaper essential services such as health insurance, facilities for lowincome families to access to the Cnancial system and strengthening of federal support programs, such as food stamps.
It is of course a major problem that does not accept simple or easy solutions, but an important step is to recognize that it is a major problem in our society, which calls for public and private participation to ensure that future generations of children can reach their maximum potential. (Hispanic Network)