November 1987 Home   Newsletters

December 1987

January 1988

President's Message (Arlene Ellis)
Vote Count
Helping the Poor -- Whose Repsonsibility? (Jean Aoki)
Consensus Meeting on Meeting Basic Human Needs
Hunger Numbers
Poor: Myths vs Reality
City Funds Meeting
Initiative Forum
Water Conference
Welcome Back
Meeting Basic Human Needs: Committee Report (Jean Aoki)
Letters (M.R. R.)
Be a Part of the Aloha Voter

Hunger Numbers

  1. In 1980, 29.3 million Americans (13 percent) lived below the poverty line. In 1985, 33.1 million Americans (14 percent) were living in poverty.

  2. In 1985, only 33.6 percent of America's unemployed workers received unemployment insurance. In 1975, 76 percent of all unemployed American workers received unemployment assistance.

  3. In 34 of 50 states, families with children receiving family aid benefits are prohibited from receiving such benefits if both parents work. To receive Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) funds, one parent must leave the household.

  4. Long-term unemployment has increased. There were 1.2 million "discouraged" workers during the third quarter of 1986, as compared to 771,000 at the end of 1979.

  5. In October 1986, 5.8 million Americans had part-time jobs because they could not find full-time work, or because their employer had reduced their work hours.

  6. There were 25 million fewer students receiving a subsidized school lunch in 1986 than in 1980 because of Administration budget cuts.

  7. The number of people classified as working poor - those who are employed but whose incomes still do not reach the poverty line - increased by 60 percent since 1978.

  8. Those working at the minimum wage have seen the real purchasing power of their earnings decrease by 27.9 percent since January 1981, the last time the minimum wage was increased.

  9. Eighty-one percent of the parents who receive AFDC benefits receive funds for less than two years.'

  10. The combination of Food Stamps and family assistance benefits fails to attain the poverty line in all 50 states. In 38 states and the District of Columbia, the combined benefits fail to reach even 75 percent of the poverty threshold.

  11. Nearly 75 percent of all families on AFDC have just one or two children. In most states, allocations per child decrease as the number of children increases.

  12. Although public assistance programs have represented less than 10 percent of the Federal budget from the years 1980-85, they have been subjected to 32 percent of all Federal spending cuts.

  13. For younger children, poverty statistics are especially bleak. One in four children under the age of six lives in poverty. Half of all American black children under the age of six live in poverty. Two in five Hispanic children living in America are poor.

  14. Between 1982 and 1983 (the latest available data), the post-neonatal mortality rate - deaths among infants between 28 days and one year - rose by three percent. Preliminary data for 1984 shows a six percent increase. Poor nutritional intake for mothers prior to birth and poor nutritional levels for newborn infants are the leading reason for this trend.

  15. In the decade between 1971 and 1981, the nation's infant mortality rate dropped by an average of five percent a year. Between 1981 and 1983, the rate had slowed to three percent a year. Cutbacks in Federal food programs are cited as a reason for the rate change.

  16. In 1980, the United States ranked 16th in the world in preventing infant deaths. In 1986, the figure dropped to 18th.

SOURCES: 1, 2: Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) and U.S. Department of Commerce. 3, 4, 5, 6, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16: FRAC. 7, 8: Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. 9, 10, I1: Center on Social Welfare Policy and Law.

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