And now, a word from our government: 1 in 6 Texans and 1 in 4 Texas children live BELOW Poverty
August 26, 2008 § Leave a comment
Census Bureau findings released today confirm what most Food Banks already know. Low wage growth and increased cost of living is making it tougher for Texas families to live. 3,791,183 Texans, and 1,485,493 children live below federal poverty guidelines.
According to federal poverty guidelines, an individual’s household income must be below $ $10,210. For a family of four in 2007, households making below $20,650 are considered “poor.” This is what the U.S. government considers to be the minimum amount of income needed to achieve an adequate standard of living. Poverty guidelines, created in the early 1960s, were based on how much the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimated it would cost to feed a family of four. The poverty line was set by multiplying this food cost by three, assuming that low-income families will spend roughly one third of their income on food. Access to federally funded feeding programs, such as food stamps, WIC, and TANF are based on poverty guidelines.
Fast forward to 2008, and evidence suggests that not only does the poverty rate grossly underestimate the number of Texans struggling to feed themselves and their familes, but also, prevents families in need of government assistance from accessing those resources. Those who do not qualify for government assistance often turn to food banks for help.
Members of the Texas Food Bank Network report an 11% increase in need over last year and are now providing food for more than 385,000 households monthly. The Capital Area Food Bank reports a 20% increase in need since January of this year.
When families are standing in food lines, they clearly do not have enough to maintain the “adequate standard of living.”
- Get the Facts on Poverty in Texas (PDF)
- Learn about poverty in Central Texas
- Learn about Federal Programs affecting Central Texans