This weekend, PBS Newshour looked at the growing rate of poverty in U.S. suburbs. According to the report by Megan Thompson, there are now more poor residents living in suburbs than in urban cities and rural areas, a shift that occurred in part as more people moved into the suburbs, and in part by the financial crisis. And while cities figure out how to address the needs of those living in suburban poverty, food pantries, and other charities have been stepping in to provide some help.
Alex Andreou explains to food activist Jamie Oliver why poor people, of which he was one, often eat shitty food. One reason: It’s cheap. Another: It’s easy to say yes to: “What I had not understood before I found myself in true poverty, and what Oliver probably does not, is that it means living in a world of ‘no’. Ninety-nine per cent of what you need is answered ‘no’. Ninety-nine per cent of what your kids ask for is answered ‘no’. Ninety-nine per cent of life is answered ‘no’. Cinema? No. Night out? No. New shoes? No. Birthday? No. So, if the only indulgence that is viable, that is within budget, that will not mean you have to walk to work, is a Styrofoam container of cheesy chips, the answer is a thunderous ‘YES’.”
The New York Times has a fascinating study
based on millions of anonymous earnings records around the country showing the metropolitan areas in the U.S. where low-income families have a higher chance of climbing the income ladder and rising out of poverty. The study showed that living in cities with mixed-income neighborhoods encouraged this kind of income mobility, as well as, unsurprisingly, living in cities with good school systems. The story is filled with really nice interactive charts, which you can see here