Friday, August 29, 2008

Census: 1 in 6 Texans Live Below Poverty

Despite an economic recovery lasting from 2003-2007, nearly one in six Texans – and nearly one in four Texas children – remain below the federal poverty line, according to new Census data released earlier this week.

These findings confirm that the recovery was one of the weakest on record, with costs-of-living and low wage growth driving many new families to poverty. 3.8 million Texans, 1.5 million of whom were children, lived below the meager federal poverty guideline of $20,650 for a family of four in 2007, according to the Census.

Although this data covers only 2007, evidence from Texas food banks and food stamp offices suggest that conditions have worsened since then:
  • State food stamp offices served 2.5 million Texans this August, compared with 2.3 million at this time last year.
  • Members of the Texas Food Bank Network have reported an 11% increase in demand over the prior year, and are now feeding more than 385,000 households every month.
Hunger is growing by every measure. That means it's likely that poverty is growing, too.

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