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Poverty and Hunger in the United States

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Poverty and Hunger in the United States
Joanne Riley
Professor Paul Dadosky
ECON 202
July 17, 2013

Poverty and Hunger in the United States

The United States determines the official poverty rate using poverty thresholds that are issued each year by the U.S. Census Bureau. The thresholds represent the annual amount of income needed to sustain at the lowest level families of various sizes.
A family is classified as poor if their pre-tax income is below the poverty threshold. The pre-tax income does not include any non-monetary benefits such as public housing, Medicaid, food stamps or any employer provided health insurance.
Here is a sample of the 2010 poverty thresholds: Single Individual | Under 65 years | $11,344 | | 65 years & older | $10,458 | Single Parent | One child | $15,030 | | Two children | $17,568 | | No children | $14,602 | Two Adults | One child | $17,552 | | Two children | $22,113 | | Three children | $26,023 |

SOURCE: U.S. Bureau of the Census, Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2010, Report P60, n. 238, p. 61.
Poverty guidelines are a simplified version of poverty thresholds and these are issued by the Department of Health and Human Services to determine financial eligibility for certain federal programs.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) is one of these programs. They provide nutritious meals and snacks to thousands of children in day care across the United States. The same program supplies meals and snacks to hundreds of thousands adults who receive care in non-residential adult day care centers. It also provides meals to children residing in emergency shelters and to youths participating in certain afterschool programs.
The figures for poverty and hunger within the United States are staggering. According to the U.S. Census Bureau 2010 figures, 46.9 million people were living in poverty. This is the largest number in the 52 years for which poverty rates have been

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