Childhood Poverty in the U.S.
By Rachel Chernaskey
Childhood poverty is an epidemic in the US. According to the National Center for Children in Poverty, a public policy center that aims to promote well-being, security and other positive outcomes for America’s children and families living in poverty, 21 percent of children live in a poor family. The 2015 federal poverty threshold defines a poor family in the U.S. as a family of four with two children and an annual income of $24, 036.
The Youngest Among Us
Of the millions of children living in poor families in the U.S., the NCCP reports that approximately 2.6 million are infants or toddlers (under three years of age).
A variety of factors contribute to the likelihood of child poverty in a particular family, including parental education level and family structure. And while many of these larger issues are difficult to tackle, organizations like Operation Warm can help alleviate child poverty by helping children maintain a basic necessity—warmth during the cold seasons in the year.
Poverty by Region
Children living in low-income families (defined as a family of four with two children earning an annual salary of $48,072 or less) are also more prevalent in different regions of the country. In the West, 1.3 million infants and toddlers live in low-income families. In the Midwest region, 1.1 million infants and toddlers live in low-income families. And in the Northeast, 0.7 million infants and toddlers live in low-income families. All of these regions of the country have seasonal climates that drop to cold, harsh temperatures. Operation Warm helps battle child poverty across the country—especially in regions where the cold-weather climate is harsh—by providing children with a product that they need, but also enjoy and feel good about wearing every day.
Though the numbers paint a sobering picture of child poverty in America, donations and work with organizations like Operation Warm can make an impact. Many times, parents of families in poor and low-income families work, but cannot afford basic needs like coats for the winter. Operation Warm coats alleviate the stress of worrying about how a child will stay warm and healthy in the wintertime, for parents and kids alike.