Poverty and Childhood Hunger
As you might imagine, hunger is a problem that most often affects children from low-income families. A common way we measure poverty is the federal poverty level, a number set by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The federal poverty level is the minimum amount of money a family needs each year to afford the necessities of life: food, clothing, shelter, and transportation.
In 2020, the federal poverty level was $26,200 for a family of four. Families making twice that much are still considered low-income by most experts, and many struggle to make ends meet.
How many Americans live in poverty? Over 34 million, or 10.5% of all Americans, according to 2019 data from the U.S. Census Bureau. 12 million of those were children. This number, though shockingly high for a country of such enormous wealth, had fallen in recent years, but the coronavirus pandemic put a huge burden on already-struggling families, and the impact of that is not yet fully known.