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Wednesday, October 8, 2014

The "Recovery:" One in Five Americans are always Hungry, 4 out of 5 are Hungry for at least part of their lives. But the top 20 percent are doing really well.

More Americans Struggle to Afford Food

Americans' overall access to basic needs is close to record-low

by Alyssa Brown

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- More Americans are struggling to afford food -- nearly as many as did during the recent recession. The 20.0% who reported in August that they have, at times, lacked enough money to buy the food that they or their families needed during the past year, is up from 17.7% in June, and is the highest percentage recorded since October 2011. The percentage who struggle to afford food now is close to the peak of 20.4% measured in November 2008, as the global economic crisis unfolded.
Percentage of Americans Who Struggled to Afford Food

No Disney Fun for Orlando Workers as Poverty Nears 20%

Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse in the central Hub of the Magic Kingdom in Florida. Photograph: Getty Images

It costs a family of five about $1,500 for a four-day pass to the theme parks at Disney World near Orlando, Florida. It takes Weston Vlier, who drives a bus there, four weeks to earn that much.
“If nobody is able to help us out with food, we just don’t eat,” said the 42-year-old father of three who makes less than $25,000 per year. “I can’t even pay my rent this week.”

Vlier belongs to a growing class of working poor in Orlando, which has the lowest median pay among the 50 most-populous American metropolitan areas, according to U.S. Labor Department data. Three of the city’s largest employers, including Walt Disney Co., increased starting pay this year. Even after Disney raised its minimum wage to $10 per hour, Vlier still lives below the federal poverty line.

80 percent of U.S. adults face near-poverty, unemployment, survey finds

People look through boxes of food during a food distribution by the Food Bank of the Southern Tier Mobile Food Pantry on June 20, 2012 in Oswego, New York. The mobile food pantry program was introduced in 2007 in the Southern Tier of New York and covers nearly 4,000 predominately rural miles. The converted beverage truck delivers fresh produce, dairy products and other grocery items to individuals and families in need. The pantry typically distributes for a period of two hours and provides 100 to 160 families with food. According to the 2010 Census, 15.72% the population serviced by the mobile pantry live at or below the federal poverty level.

According to statistics presented at a recent U.S. Senate committee hearing, almost one in seven Americans are living below the poverty line with a significant number of them being children.  
Four out of 5 U.S. adults struggle with joblessness, near-poverty or reliance on welfare for at least parts of their lives, a sign of deteriorating economic security and an elusive American dream.

Survey data exclusive to The Associated Press points to an increasingly globalized U.S. economy, the widening gap between rich and poor, and the loss of good-paying manufacturing jobs as reasons for the trend.

24% of Kalamazoo County households live above poverty line but below cost-of-living levels

Kroger store, Gahanna, Ohio
People who are working, but not making enough to keep by with the cost of living, may choose unlicensed child care (rather than traditional and more expensive care) and emergency room visits

I — They have often been called the working poor -- people who live above the poverty line but below basic cost-of-living levels.
They are people who are typically working at low-paying jobs, living paycheck to paycheck and in a constant financial struggle.
They are laborers, skilled workers, drop-outs and college grads who haven't found the work they really want and who, with little or no savings, are one big medical bill or one major car repair payment from slipping underwater financially.

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