January is Poverty in America Awareness Month, and this holiday aims to recognize the severe conditions of poverty that many are living in. Yes, the U.S. may be a developed nation and one of the greatest countries in the world. But there are still thousands of people who are deprived of three meals a day, quality education, and even clean and healthy drinking water. In fact, many can’t even afford warm clothes during winter. The question is, how can we end poverty? Well, you may not completely be able to eradicate poverty, but you can help in improving the living conditions of hundreds, if not thousands, of people. All you have to do is acknowledge the problem and devise ways to fix it.
History of Poverty in America Awareness Month
What is poverty? For African and Asian nations, poverty is inaccessibility to healthcare, necessary vaccines, food, water, and shelter. While education is considered important in developed nations, struggling countries choose food over being able to read. This is why the definition of poverty differs from continent to continent. In the United States, those who cannot afford a recreational trip, or pay for medication are also considered to be living below the poverty line. Due to the differing inflation and employment statistics of each country, several international organizations have outlined their definitions of poverty.
For instance, according to the United Nations, “poverty is the inability of having choices and opportunities, a violation of human dignity.” This means that people who do not have enough means to feed or clothe their family or send their children to school are considered to be living in poverty. The World Bank, on the other hand, describes poverty as a condition where the education and healthcare levels are low, and there is no access to clean water and sanitation.
According to the World Bank, lack of physical security and the unavailability of options for one to improve their life and standard of living is also included in poverty. Whereas the European Union (E.U.) defines poverty as being closely linked to the distribution of income. Whichever definition one chooses to go with, poverty causes numerous problems in a country, such as a high crime rate. Poverty is seen as a social illness that gives rise to inequality, hatred, and discrimination. The negative long-term consequences of poverty are the motivational factors for world leaders to strive to reduce the level of poverty across the globe.
Poverty in America Awareness Month timeline
President Lyndon Johnson declares an unconditional war on poverty to relieve, cure, and prevent it.
An interagency Poverty Studies Take Force is established to review the current measure of poverty and undertake alternative measures for eradication.
The Office of Management and Budget specifies the definition of poverty.
The National Academy of Sciences forms a panel to study and measure poverty.
Poverty in America Awareness Month FAQs
Is there a Poverty Awareness Month?
Yes. January is considered to be the month that raises awareness of poverty and its effects.
Why is it important to bring awareness to poverty?
Awareness regarding poverty is important to help improve living conditions. It enlightens those who are unaware of poor living conditions and encourages them to join in on helping those in need.
How does poverty occur?
Poverty is caused by multiple reasons such as unemployment, lack of healthcare, inflation, and so on. Simply, not having access to basic needs can mean poverty.
How to Observe Poverty in America Awareness Month
Want to lend a hand to those suffering from poverty? Make a gracious donation to children, adults, or anyone in need. You can donate food, clothes, blankets, money, or anything that a person living in poverty may need.
Several Americans are not aware of the large number of individuals who are suffering from poverty and can’t even afford the basic necessities. Spread knowledge regarding the poverty rate in the country so people start helping those in need. You can share the knowledge with friends and family, on social media, or even host a live event to raise awareness on poverty.
Host a charity event
To arrange a huge donation for those living in poverty, host a small charity event and encourage others to donate. Share the details of the event on your social media pages and you can also create pamphlets to spread around your community.
5 Facts About Poverty In America
People living in poverty
In 2020, over 37 million people lived in poverty.
Poverty in Chicago
In 2007, an estimated 21% of the population in Chicago was living in poverty.
People of color
Societies made up of non-whites face a higher rate of hunger, poverty, and unemployment compared to white areas.
Nearly 70% of adults have less than $1,000 in their savings accounts.
National Center on Family Homelessness
In a 2015 analysis, it was found that approximately 2.5 million children experience homelessness in a year.
Why Poverty in America Awareness Month is Important
The month is important because it brings to light the number of people who are suffering, in effect creating empathy in the hearts of those who were previously unaware. Once individuals become aware of the effects of poverty, they are more likely to engage in donations and improvement plans to help eradicate poverty.
Giving the exact figures of poverty and highlighting the number of children who are deprived of food and shelter, encourages people to donate. Whether it is money, food, or clothes, people need to be encouraged to give whatever little they can.
Calls for action
The month calls for action in terms of donations, and the introduction of measures and public policies that may eliminate poverty in the country. If we work together as a nation, we can achieve a poverty-free society.
Poverty in America Awareness Month dates