What does poverty mean to me?
By: Jett Sutton
The effects of poverty are more than just missing a meal. Millions and Millions of families struggle with chronic food insecurity, hunger, and malnutrition. When families don’t have the food that their minds and bodies desire, their health and livelihood falter, trapping them in a vicious cycle of affecting one generation after another. The only way to combat the problem is to break the cycle of poverty and build strong communities. This enables every person to have enough nutritious food to live a healthy and productive life that many people deserve.
While I read The Part Time Indian, the main character Junior seems to be the definition of poverty. The lack of food, resources and transportation he experiences makes the reader feel very privileged as that we don’t live in the circumstances he does. While I was reading this, it made me wonder how many other people in the real world suffer like he does. Upon research my mind really opened up to how big of an issue this is. We are all aware that poverty effects a large amount of families and individuals in our country, most of us view poverty as homelessness (like when we see a homeless person and begin to feel wistful for them) but poverty effects more people then you may have been aware of, as the the U.S Census Bureaus in 2017 estimates that 40.6 million people in the United states suffer from poverty every year. 40.6 Million people hardly compares to nearly half of the populations 3 billion people who suffer every year from the same thing. America being a part of the third largest continent, the effects of poverty are very prevalent in our country. Although you may not agree with me, I ask you to take the following into consideration and maybe alter your view on poverty.
Poverty isn’t only a real issue, it’s the WORST social issue in America. No other social issue has so many side effects and effects such a large amount of people in not only America, but in the world. Some parts of poverty have very serious effect that we don’t really think about. For example, access to clean drinking water. 100% of people who don’t have access to clean water are in poverty. With the 1.8 billion people who drink water from a facially contaminated source the lack of clean water can lead to Vomiting or diarrhea, A sick stomach, Skin rashes, Cancer (Some kinds of cancer, like leukemia, can happen after drinking bad water for a long period of time) and Reproductive problems (Some kinds of reproductive problems, like infertility, can happen after drinking polluted water for a long period of time). Concluding this evidence, its easy to understand why no other social issue is as prevalent and harming as poverty. Despite any other opposing evidence, the amount of people who suffer from this can’t be replaced by any other statistic.
With many other issues in America, one could easily argue that Poverty isn’t a serious issue, as many people in poverty have done something to put poverty upon themselves. And in that rare case, the majority of people who suffer still over power the people who simply don’t try to make money. If you would even like to say that, you could take away the percent of people who don’t try to make a living and the remaining percentage would STILL be the worst social issue in the United States. Like Juniors family, his parents both works, but they aren’t able to save the little money they have. Although juniors life of an alcoholic dad and a dysfunctional family seem fictional, many people experience this first hand every day. Although many of us are fortunate enough to not have experienced poverty, many of us aren’t and are still fighting to make a living and a future for themselves.
Poverty is not only the lack of food, the lack of clean water, clothes, food, and shelter is a serious issue that too many people suffer from every day. From giving someone $5 on the street to donating resources to organizations, it doesn’t take much to make someone’s day. The more you help, the better off someone less fortunate than you and I can be. So, with this I must ask you, how will you make a change?
Beam, Dan. The Effects Of Poverty. 20 October 2017. 1 March 2019. .
Health effects of water pollution. 31 October 2013. 1 March 2019. .
Nyhan, Paul. U.S poverty rate falls, but poor push for more progress. 17 Septmber 2017. 1 March 2019. .