Poverty & Hunger: Myths and Facts

In Preparation for World Communion Sunday.  From the web site of the Food Bank of Northeast Louisiana.

Myth: They are not hungry. They are fat!

Fact: This is called the Obesity Paradox. The population that is forced to live on cheap, starchy foods are, in many cases, fat. In some cases they are morbidly obese. They are getting a lot of calories and little real nutrition. The end result of this is all kinds of health problems.

MYTH: They do not need help– they get food Stamps.

Fact: According to studies done by America’s Second Harvest, 40% of the people eligible for food stamps do not receive them. And , almost 84% of the families contacted for the 2000 hunger study reported that the food stamps they receive last for three weeks or less.

MYTH: Low-income families who need help do not work.

Fact: Seventy-one percent of low –income families work. In fact, the average annual work effort for low-income families is 2,500 hours, equal to 1.2 full time jobs.

MYTH: The kids get enough food through school lunch and breakfast programs.

Fact: These programs do not provide an evening meal the vast majority do not provide food during the summer, school breaks, and holidays.

MYTH: Low income families are illegal aliens, or immigrants.

Fact: Seventy-two percent of the low-income families have American-born parents only.

Here’s another fact:  in our Schools in Lincoln Parish, approximately 70% of the students are receiving their lunches for free or at a reduced price because of their income level.  Our children received reduced-price lunches when they were in the Lincoln Parish Schools.  Some mornings they also ate breakfast at school (also reduced price–they paid 30 cents for breakfast), but it was because of someone sleeping late or not finding their shoes on time, etc.  But for many kids, they eat breakfast at school because there is no breakfast food in the house.  There is no food in the house.

“The poor are poor because they’re lazy” is a cop-out people use to salve their consciences, to get the thought of poverty out of their heads.  It’s an unfair generalization.  It’s an untrue generalization.  And now, more than ever, we need to stop using excuses like this and help feed hungry children, and adults, right in our own back yard.

Don’t forget to pick up some items on the BackPack program list and bring them to church this Sunday.


About revjatb

I am a father of six who is trying to do his best! My interests are varied. I have one blog, KnowTea, that is primarily focused on liturgy and worship and another one, Bengtsson's Baking, that is about, well, baking! I hope you enjoy both of them, and if you have any questions, please contact me!
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One Response to Poverty & Hunger: Myths and Facts

  1. Cap'n Whook says:

    How unfortunate (or manipulative) is the reliance upon myth and stereotype when deeper understanding and action are required. Thank you for posting this.

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