Urging our nation's leaders to end hunger

How Much Do You Know About U.S. Poverty?

Photo: Lunch for homeless people is distributed after Mass in the Lafayette Park. The liturgy is part of a program called Street Church, run by Epiphany Episcopal church in Washington, D.C. (Bread for the World/Crista Friedli)

Do you know how many people in the United States live in poverty? Any idea how many of those living in poverty are children?

If you're a frequent reader of Bread Blog and are familiar with Bread for the World's fact sheets, you may already know that roughly 46 million people in the United States lived in poverty in 2011, and that more than one-fifth of American children live below the poverty line. Still, Marketplace's "What Do You Know About Poverty in America?" quiz offers an eye-opening look at the issue. If you can correctly answer all ten questions, you may consider using the test as a tool to introduce the issues of hunger and poverty to young people, family, and friends.

Test you knowledge by taking the quiz, and also read Marketplace's accompanying article on the politics surrounding the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps) during this election season.


« Quote of the Day: John F. Kennedy Hungry and Poor People Hardest Hit by Natural Disasters »


That quiz is really good: an easy and fun way to learn and engage with the facts of poverty here in the U.S.

I wish the same could be said for the accompanying article. It falls into the same trap as much of what currently passes for journalism: simply repeating what "both sides" say without any apparent fact checking.

For instance: "the stigma associated with food stamp usage is gone and that's a bad thing." Now we can and should debate the second half of that claim. I find it reprehensible and unconscionable that Gregory wants people who need help to feel ashamed of their need. But that's opinion. We can disagree about that.

But the first half of that statement is claiming to be factual. Yet absolutely no evidence is provided to back up that claim. And Merajii the reporter just lets it slide. I know she's no where near alone in this repeating rather than reporting approach, but still... we need better journalism than this.

Oops, the reporter's name is Meraji, not Merajii. Apologies.

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