Even short-term poverty can hurt kids' health
November 15th, 2010
04:32 PM ET

Even short-term poverty can hurt kids' health

Being poor for even a short period of time can have lasting health implications for children, according to a new report by the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. 15.5 million children are living in poverty in the United States, that's one in five children according to the Census Bureau.

Researchers looked at data surrounding four topics: Health, food security, housing stability and maltreatment. They examined each in relation to past and present recessions.  During childhood, the body is growing quickly and researchers say even a brief period of poor nutrition could lead to lifelong issues.

21 percent of all households with children were estimated to be "food insecure," according to the report data. "Food insecure" is when a family doesn't have access to enough nutritionally adequate food to meet proper dietary needs. "The numbers illustrate that even a one-time recession can have lasting consequences,"  says Dr. David Rubin a co-senior author of the study.

Enrollment in programs such as food stamps has increased.  "We had counties in the United States where 70 percent of all children in that county were receiving food stamps. It's shocking to me that we are at those numbers," says Rubin, who's also director of the PolicyLab at Children's Hospital in Philadelphia.  Parents who are trying to trim food costs may turn to less-expensive meals, such as fast food, and this could have an impact on childhood obesity.

Affordable housing directly influences a child's health according the report. Unsafe living conditions, homelessness and frequent moves put children more at risk to suffer from a number of health issues including hypertension, heart disease, depression or anxiety, athsma, developmental delays and behavioral problems.

The maltreatment of children either physical or emotional has decreased according to the report, but the researchers note the government has downsized the number of programs focused on these issues.   Researchers found child neglect incidents rose during previous recessions leading them to expect a rise following the current recession.

Researchers did find the number of children covered by health insurance is up. "Stability is very important to child well being," says Dr. Kathleen Noonan co-senior author of the study. "The planning that was done to create a safety net for children for insurance actually created a buffer," but she says, the subsidies families receive when it comes to other needs are usually a one-time benefit, yet these families continue to suffer year after year.

 The report will be discussed as part of a congressional briefing with Sen. Bob Casey on Wednesday.

soundoff (110 Responses)
  1. Nora Lake

    Trying citing the court system in New York State which routinely sends women and children into poverty during divorce.

    November 15, 2010 at 18:41 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Simone Spence

      Thank you Nora but not just New York State,...every state. Child Support evasion is an epidemic. According to gov reports, only 25% of support orders are paid so many of these kids end up going without basic needs. 80% of women on welfare do not get their child support and if they did, wouldn't be on the doles. Shameful.

      November 15, 2010 at 20:11 | Report abuse |
    • CF

      Not just in New York... All states are abusive to those who cannot protect themselves. The real crime is that the government is the main predator of the poor, when it should be the main protector of the poor.

      November 15, 2010 at 20:16 | Report abuse |
    • Kyle

      The whole woman's rights to her body, if you want parity then when a woman is choosing whether to keep a baby the father should be choosing whether to support the child. If the guy files papers saying he won't support the child, then the woman can decide whether she wants to keep the pregnancy or not. Hard to convince someone to cough up money to raise a child when he has no legal rights to that child after a divorce when all he gets is visitation only every other weekend.

      November 16, 2010 at 01:39 | Report abuse |
    • Edwin

      Kyle - it doesn't work that way. With two parents, one has to have the deciding vote, and the woman (who actually carries the child) is the logical tie-breaker. That said, the child requires support, whether the father-to-be wants to give it or not. It may not be the father's choice that the baby is born, but that does not negate the child's needs.

      Basic rule of thumb: if you don't want to pay for a child, get a vasectomy (or keep it in your pants).

      November 16, 2010 at 03:08 | Report abuse |
    • jess

      what about men forced into parenthood? there has to be some sort of way they can get out of having to pay child support for children that were never wanted in the first place.

      November 16, 2010 at 07:44 | Report abuse |
    • Dinak

      A court system cannot place a woman and her child (children) into poverty. The adults do that. If a judge ruled that I should pay my spouse and child $300 per month, and I can afford $700, than I , of my own volition and out of a sense of responsibility, will pay the extra money. The court does not stop ex-spouses from sending more than what the court mandated. Stop blaming others for one's own life and choices.

      November 16, 2010 at 08:46 | Report abuse |
    • Colleendma16

      @jess. The way out of paying child support is to 1. Not have sex or 2. have a vasectomy.

      If you have sex...you have the information if a baby is the result that the women choose to carry or not. It's not a state secret.

      Don't want to pay...don't have sex. It's really an easy choice.

      Once the child comes...guess what...your on the hook. Again not a state secret. You have this information and make decision with it. No one forced you to have sex or not get fixed. You made those decisions yourself.

      November 16, 2010 at 08:49 | Report abuse |
    • Lioness

      jess, men forced into fatherhood? LOL. Men who don't want children should wear a condom. Who cares if the woman says she's on birth control; it could fail, and everyone knows that. And no, they shouldn't get "out of" supporting their own child, just because they are foolish enough to not love and want a child.

      November 16, 2010 at 09:14 | Report abuse |
    • MrA

      So the woman has no responsibility to "get fixed" or to be honest about birth control, or to care for herself after having a child? All responsibility lies on men only? Perhaps men should keep it in their pants, and women keep their legs closed. Or perhaps it should be a more equal system in that people are held accountable, and either party pays (I have yet to see a woman have to pay to help a man...the system is sexist).

      November 16, 2010 at 09:21 | Report abuse |
    • joe

      What if you get raped by a woman...? not being funny its happened to me twice once by a mom when i was in 8th grade? does the whole get a vesectomy or keep it in your pants apply then?

      November 16, 2010 at 09:30 | Report abuse |
    • joe

      I think it must be a diffrent generation thing because for all you ladies who are trying to claim oh the men are the sexual deviants uhhh you should come to my college Literally the guys are the victims its crazy. I just had a talk with my mom how physically aggresive the girls are.

      November 16, 2010 at 09:33 | Report abuse |
    • BTDT


      In fact, men can be forced into fatherhood. My husband, courtesy of the great state of Arizona, is paying child support for not one, but two children who are biologically not his. Since he happened to be married to the mother at the time she was sleeping around and conceived them he's on the hook to support them.

      We've had several judges tell us it doesn't matter that they know who the bio-dads are, since he was married to her, he was willing to play the role of father. It doesn't matter that her sleeping around was the reason they got divorced.

      So, thanks to her indiscretions, we get to pay over $1k/mo for these two children, while their real fathers (who thanks to the courts still have visitation!) pay absolutely nothing.

      The system is jacked.

      November 16, 2010 at 10:16 | Report abuse |
    • Amy

      Kyle, if a man doesn't want a baby, he can keep it in his pants. Same for women. If you do the crime, you better be willing to do the time.

      November 16, 2010 at 10:40 | Report abuse |
    • John in NY

      I have no problem with a man being required to help support his children, but the woman should have to as well. I mean the man shouldn't have to send half his check to his childs mother while she sits at home collecting welfare

      November 16, 2010 at 11:29 | Report abuse |
    • Amy

      Most single moms I know work their butts off, John. Those that receive government help do it to supplement where their deadbeat ex partners aren't paying.

      November 16, 2010 at 11:59 | Report abuse |
    • Thriver


      Clearly you are a survivor of childhood sexual abuse and what she did to you was unconscionable. That is a totally different discussion. I am a survivor also and I sincerely hope that you are on a healing path my friend.


      November 16, 2010 at 13:51 | Report abuse |
    • LaRofromNorthAL

      I would think that the point here is this : If YOU do not want a child, either don't have sex or use birth control. Don't trust your partner to provide it (through devices, pharmaceuticals, or surgery) if you are not willing to be tied to that person for the next 18 years. This goes for male or female.

      November 16, 2010 at 14:33 | Report abuse |
    • Mark

      interesting – very interesting

      November 25, 2010 at 23:36 | Report abuse |
  2. DumbestStoriesOf2010

    1)Debt is the new slavery
    2)Soledad's battle against a photographer who asked if she was black
    3)Elliot Spitzer .....becoming the moral compass of CNN...The new 8 p.m.
    4)Elizabeth Cohen Empowered Patient ...3 of 5 stories were her own family
    5)Eatocracy ..... The super Salmon..A chef's perspective
    6)Rick's List Jews Run CNN..

    Vote Now at CNN non-Heroes!!!!

    November 15, 2010 at 20:02 | Report abuse | Reply
    • mdyer

      Elliot Spitzer is so slimy. Nosferatu.

      November 16, 2010 at 00:28 | Report abuse |
    • Dinak

      Let's not forget Anderson Cooper 360 – covering everything in depth EXCEPT for Obama.

      November 16, 2010 at 08:43 | Report abuse |
  3. AC360

    I vote for 1 not on list....BULLIES....when CNN has at least 3 BULLIES...Nancy Grace the biggest BULLY...accuses Duke Lacrosse team and causes Melinda Duckett to COMMITT SUICIDE ...Nancy FAILS to appear in Florida deposition on wrongful death case.....

    November 15, 2010 at 20:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. AC360

    NANCY IS THE JUDGE!!!! Talk about a BULLY CNN...REALLY????

    November 15, 2010 at 20:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. CF

    She's a cannibal...

    November 15, 2010 at 20:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Nancy Grace

    **********************************breaking news***********************************************8
    ***************************ZAHRA STEPMOM IS GUILTY......GET THE PITCH FORKS EVERYONE......

    November 15, 2010 at 20:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Nancy Grace

    I am NANCY GRACE AND I AM THE JUDGE AND JURY.........If I don't like what you say I will CUT your MIC!!!!!

    November 15, 2010 at 20:19 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Cnn viewer

      Hey NANCY why did you stop looking for TRENTON DUCKETT? Did you find him? Did you ever apologize to the DUKE LACROSSE TEAM??


      November 15, 2010 at 20:23 | Report abuse |
  8. GoodNews316

    Have you ever wondered how the world began or how it will end? Or, why is our world full of pain, disease, poverty? It wasn't always this way. See for yourself, visit:  Story4.Us/2050

    November 15, 2010 at 23:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Dave

    Yes, I was poor for a day and my health was hurt so we should bail out all the poor people!

    November 15, 2010 at 23:18 | Report abuse | Reply
    • NS Indiana

      Closing the massive hole that is the gap between the rich and poor is not a "bailout" nor is it socialism. I don't think everyone should be paid the same but I also don't agree with the fact that we have poor families in this country while the top 1% of households hold 43% of the wealth. The amount of greed and lack of concern for fellow citizens is appalling in this country.

      November 15, 2010 at 23:51 | Report abuse |
    • Mei

      NS Indiana said it very well!

      November 16, 2010 at 00:37 | Report abuse |
    • Edwin

      Dave - your compassion for others is underwhelming. You cannot truly be poor "for a day" - I hope you have the opportunity to really experience poverty first-hand, and have to make the choice between feeding your kids food and having a roof over their heads.

      Well, no, I don't hope that. If you have kids, I hope they never know poverty. But you should learn about it. Maybe experience it for a year or so. You might discover that poor people, even with all the "bail outs" as you call them, have it very tough.

      November 16, 2010 at 03:14 | Report abuse |
    • fireybuddha

      NSIndiana – exactly. Well said. Poverty is a much greater risk to societal long-term health than most narrow-minded conservatives can grasp. Go ahead – kill the poor people by not giving them jobs, housing, food or health care. We don't need "them," right?

      November 16, 2010 at 09:18 | Report abuse |
  10. hueygunner

    Great! I spent almost my entire childhood in poverty. There were no food stamps back then. I got one simple meal a day at school and only during school days. I didn't get a break until I started working as a 15-year-old at an El Taco Mexican Restaurant in San Pedro, California. Jerry and Charlie Toogood let us eat as much as we wanted for free. Customers would wait and let me finish a meal. They said it was a good sign that the food was safe to eat. Often, I worked late at night by myself. I worked as fast and hard as I could; not slow like today's workers. Now, I have to worry that my childhood health might take a toll on my elderly years. Great...

    November 15, 2010 at 23:19 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Edwin

      If you are elderly, you probably already know the ailments facing you. This article adds nothing new to that.

      November 16, 2010 at 03:16 | Report abuse |
  11. DeOrIgInAlThInKa'

    no Dave, screw the poor in America, we should only help the poor in the middle eastern countries that live through our bombings & attacks, you of all people should know that...jeez

    November 15, 2010 at 23:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. poormom

    I am one of the "poor" family's in America. I am not on welfare, WIC or any other assistance program due the fact that "I make too much money" at my $8 an hour salon job. I have 2 children and a husband. My husband is unemployed and has not been able to find a job. So I support my family on $600-$800 a month. I myself go with out food so that my children can eat. It is not easy but I have to do what I can for my family. I would love to live above poverty level and I am working as hard as I can to get us there. I dont think everyone should be given a free ride but a little help would be nice. Why only help thoes who don't want to help themselfs?

    November 16, 2010 at 01:44 | Report abuse | Reply


      November 16, 2010 at 01:50 | Report abuse |
    • Edwin

      Monique - I am curious what sort of help you think illegals get that you don't.

      November 16, 2010 at 03:20 | Report abuse |
    • Amy

      Monique...sorry, but "illegals" as you put it...don't actually get any HELP from the gov't. I know some folks myself who are here illegally. Have been here for decades and have families. They work hard – much longer hours than I do...and provide for their families. If they went for 'help' from the gov't they'd be in trouble. They fly under the radar screen...

      November 16, 2010 at 13:04 | Report abuse |


    November 16, 2010 at 01:45 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Edwin

      Given the change in parties in Washington, I think it unlikely you will find government help anymore. In the past needs such as yours were partially met by groups like churches, but nowadays religious folk are more interested in building nicer churches than helping the poor.

      Good luck with your situation.

      November 16, 2010 at 03:23 | Report abuse |
    • Amy

      I am in a similar situation. 7 people in one room, disabled partner whose disability was denied and is in appeal, and I'm supporting 7 people on my own. It's a nightmare, and I make "too much" to qualify for any help, yet I can only feed my kids cheap carbs most of the time. It's utterly ridiculous. I work 2 jobs and barely scrape by.

      November 16, 2010 at 12:06 | Report abuse |
  14. CBP

    The number of people in the USA who are struggling to keep a roof over their heads and enough food to eat is deplorable. Certainly the recession has caused problems but even before the downturn the numbers of homeless and undernourished were terrible. Unfortunately, even though we see this everyday we are not putting our money where it will do the most good.

    The amount of money spent on the last election was obscene. Perhaps some of the people who gave large amounts of money to political groups will now pledge the same amount of money to help those who are struggling.

    November 16, 2010 at 02:08 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Ann

      Unfortunately, those "people" who gave to this last election were large corporations who, thanks to the supreme court during the Bush error, can donate any sum of money without telling who they are. America is bought by big business and they have no one to answer to. Perhaps the Supreme Court decision to consider these corporations as individual citizens can be overturned one day, but until then the rich will get richer and sadly the poor will continue to get poorer.

      November 16, 2010 at 02:25 | Report abuse |
    • Motley

      at the same time,.. many of those people who are having issues now,... lived on credit and used the house as an ATM to buy bigger homes, new cars, big screen tvs, cable, internet, smart phone plans, etc,... none of them worried about the future,....

      Yes there are some that truly need help and have done everything that they can,... and there are many more that caused their own situation due to lack of responsibities or care at the time,....

      November 16, 2010 at 03:06 | Report abuse |
    • Edwin

      Motley: you wrote "Yes there are some that truly need help and have done everything that they can,... and there are many more that caused their own situation due to lack of responsibities or care at the time"

      I have heard that argument over and over as an excuse to do nothing to help those in need. The TRUTH is that there are 15 million CHILDREN - AMERICAN CHILDREN - who are in need. And you have the GALL to decide that some are not deserving of help because you think their parents might have been irresponsible.

      Stop making excuses. If you don't care enough about other people to help, at least have the guts to admit your lack of humanity.

      Children are going hungry in our country. Think about that the next time you decide which beer or wine to order with your steak.

      November 16, 2010 at 03:29 | Report abuse |
  15. Ann

    I was a child of poverty. Luckily I grew up in an area of New York State that had a great school district so I was able to get a good education which I looked at as my way out. I have suffered from depression & anxiety which I didn't know at the time. I would cry in class, I'd stress over the simplest things, my brother acted out by drinking & running away from home. We have been able to get through it and come out the other side, but not without the help of therapy (as a young adult), food stamps, quality folks in our lives such as teachers, siblings, friends from those days who are still my friends as an adult, the list goes on and on. My family lacked health care so we'd get yelled at anytime we had to go to the doctor because it would cost money. We were on welfare which my parents had to fight for because the "system" makes it very difficult to get through. Red tape is everywhere. I would NEVER put a child through what my brothers and I went through. This is an American problem. I am a blond haired green eyed white girl. I say this because poverty crosses gender and ethnicity. There are no barriers with the poor we are everywhere and it's time that the richest nation in the world stands up and puts and end to it!

    November 16, 2010 at 02:21 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Edwin

      The time to end poverty was a long time ago. But we now live in an era of big corporations, and corporations don't honestly care about poor people (since they don't buy high end products). High on the agenda of our newly elected leaders is the opportunity to cut 'useless' programs like food stamps and welfare. After all, those on government aid rarely become multi-millionaires, so why bother to help them?

      November 16, 2010 at 03:33 | Report abuse |
  16. Ralph

    One day you will figure it out. Work hard. Save your money.Be true to your word and all things will be possible

    November 16, 2010 at 02:48 | Report abuse | Reply
    • CitizenT

      Save money how? Some of these people can't even live paycheck to paycheck. They are spending them before they get them. Those cash checking places aren't there to help the out of town visitor who needs a check cashed. They are there to "help" the people that need cash in between paychecks so their kids can eat, get a house repair done or whatever. Sure, some people get into bad times due to poor choices. Others are there due to life. I have an aquaintance that sells his blood/plasma as often as he can to put more food on the table. His wife is even donating eggs for more money. So "save your money" isn't as easy as it sounds sometimes.

      November 16, 2010 at 15:59 | Report abuse |
  17. Stewart

    I just wonder how many people could have been fed with the wasted money by candidates this past election. What a waste I believe it was in the millions!!!

    November 16, 2010 at 03:22 | Report abuse | Reply


    November 16, 2010 at 04:05 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Amy

      You appear to be confused about the meaning of Atheism...

      November 16, 2010 at 13:57 | Report abuse |
    • Sarah

      This is actually just Americanism. We just don't care about our children. Apparently we don't want them to reach their physical, intellectual, and emotional potential. If we did, we would make it so. We went to the moon when it seemed impossible so I have faith in our abilities.

      November 16, 2010 at 20:16 | Report abuse |
    • Gidgit

      Wrong. Economic theories have nothing to do with Atheism. However, since you went there, I would like to point out that Atheists tend to be liberal, and liberals are the ones who favor helping the poor and taking care of children. It is the evangelical Christians who are conservative, and support helping out corporations and the wealthiest citizens while letting everyone else suffer.

      November 17, 2010 at 04:46 | Report abuse |
  19. v m v

    pizza delivery 1st of month avg'd $37 & usually a MAN answered door. &these 'Bambies With Babies' never tipped & kept u waiting 15-20minutes & 1/2eat pizza & then say it was 'madeWrong'. Much less sympathy aftr that & 8yr old tried robbing me 4 older guy. yuck

    November 16, 2010 at 05:06 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Lioness

      Sorry you were treated so poorly by "customers" and others. You deserve better.

      November 16, 2010 at 09:23 | Report abuse |
  20. What in the world

    Y'all are a bunch of yahoos except the statistical mindset. Its truly amazing that the conversation becomes so far reaching. My question is this, If you dont like starving children, the politicians, the poor using services etc than what ARE YOU GOING TO DO ABOUT IT ?! We are all born with an opinon but the ones that count are the ones willing to change (what they dont like) for the good of humanity. Otherwise why even bother to be counted!

    November 16, 2010 at 05:42 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Thriver

      Ummm.....let's see.....I dropped off over 15 bags of groceries to my church's food pantry yesterday. On Friday night I will bag them up so on Saturday morning I can assist feeding a few hundred families. We also provide assistance so that they can find jobs because a man has to eat while you are teaching him to fish. We do this every week at my church while our Outreach Commission assists other churches to go out into the community and bring warm meals to the homeless on the street as well as blankets, sweatshirts, and warm socks.

      Our church is just one of thousands across the US doing this. Care to join us? We could use all the help that we can get.

      So what are YOU doing???

      November 16, 2010 at 14:09 | Report abuse |
  21. really???

    I read all these comments on here from people who are so poor and getting by on $600/mo or have 5 people living in a room or whatever – are you signing on the internet from the library or you do have broadband internet access at your home? I know what my comcast bill looks like and if you're just barely getting by then perhaps you should rearrange your priorities and not be spending $50-100 on internet access and spending your time commenting on CNN.com posts and go to the library or local community college and get yourself an education or learn something.

    November 16, 2010 at 06:51 | Report abuse | Reply
    • AJ

      You're right. According to my cable/internet bill, it would be over 1/6th of a $600/mo income. People need to learn to live within their means.

      November 16, 2010 at 07:43 | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      Hey, great idea, "Really???"! Poor people should focus on getting enough food, and leave that silly Internet thing to us rich folks. What do poor people need with the Internet? Why do they even need computers?

      For the benefit of the terminally dense, let me state that I am being sarcastic. The Internet is the new phone. Once upon a time, you could get by without it. Now, if you don't have it, you don't stand much of a chance against "the competition" who do. It can literally mean the difference between eating and not eating. Arrogant much, Really????

      November 16, 2010 at 09:00 | Report abuse |
    • Lioness

      You're right, people CAN survive without the Internet, once they have jobs. However, it makes it very difficult to find a new job. Perhaps she was using the computers at the library.

      November 16, 2010 at 09:25 | Report abuse |
    • Been Poor

      Having been on welfare, fairly recently, our internet access was our TV, Phone, and Library. We didn't (and still don't) pay for cable TV (hulu), or phone (skype), and there is no library in the world that can match the internet for volume of information.

      Oh, and I found my current job on the *gasp* internet. The same job that helped get us OFF of welfare.

      $40/mo for all of that seems like a prime deal to me.

      November 16, 2010 at 10:34 | Report abuse |
  22. hardworking

    I was poverty stricken for the first 27 years of my life. As a single mom with 2 kids I worked 2 sometimes 3 jobs. My health is good and so are my kids. If you are poverty stricken get off your butt and do something about it. I started my own business at 29 and have been doing great since. If I can drag myself up out of poverty so can anyone else. Quit crying about it and do something. If you can't get out of it don't have kids.

    November 16, 2010 at 08:12 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Lioness

      I disagree. People have the right to have at least one child, as long as they can feed and house them. "Poverty" in the USA is not true poverty. How would you feel without your children? By the way, just because you were able to start a business, that does not mean other people haven't tried and failed or that others are afraid of hard work. Poverty can persist despite hard work.

      November 16, 2010 at 09:28 | Report abuse |
    • another Mom

      Really? Did you really just say that? What about all of those families who had children WITHIN their means only to have one or both parents laid off? Oh, no.. of course *that* isn't happening. They must be lazy, sitting around eating bon-bons. Nope, of course there aren't fully educated people out there with college degrees unable to find a job and needing a hand up who also happen to have children. I will reckon to guess that those individuals should have somehow magically known that one day they would end up in some sort of dire straits? Maybe they should give back their children? Oh, wait.. can't do that!

      You know, I am really happy to hear you were able to make something of yourself and start a business. Unfortunately these days small businesses aren't always doing too hot. That would be my last recommendation to anyone in need. If you truly spent an entire 27 years in poverty (which is no drop in the bucket) you should have an ounce of empathy for those who find themselves in need– it's not all baby mama's and people who just sit on their butts all day

      November 16, 2010 at 18:24 | Report abuse |
  23. Mattski

    You don't need a higher education to be successful in this Country, but you do need at least to know how to use the English language. Such learning comes a lot sooner than college and there's no excuse for anyone in this Country to fail in that regard. While I am sympathetic to the plight of the unemployed, I also believe that individuals could do a lot more to advance themselves, starting with a basic education. That's what this Country was founded on.

    November 16, 2010 at 08:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. hardworking

    Jess, men are not forced into parent hood. Wear a condom. Monique if you are below the poverty line you aren't paying taxes. You get all those back plus alot more at the end of the year.

    November 16, 2010 at 08:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Lyn

    I wish i could work. I started working when i was 14 and am a very hard worker. However, I have a disabled son that gets very violent and I get called from the school almost daily to pick him up. I had in home staff that was trained for his behaviors that would call me to come take care of him because they could not handle him. I would walk into my house to find his staff hiding from him. I cry because I can not work not knowing when I will be called. Some days its at 9:30am and other days its not till 2pm. I get lucky sometimes and he makes it a full day. I don't drink, don't smoke, don't have cable and we don't eat out. I cook all of our meals right in our kitchen. When I don't have enough food I go to the food pantry. My kids will NEVER go hungry. They are in great health. As for money, we get ssi and welfare. I got a letter yesterday though saying his ssi was being cut because we are on welfare. That puts us at under $1000 a month for rent, gas, electric, trash, phone and other needs. You do the math.

    November 16, 2010 at 08:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Dinak

    There's more than enough money in liberal Hollywood to feed the small percentage of truly poor in this country. Just one less fancy house or car could feed a family for years. Put your money where your mouth is.

    November 16, 2010 at 08:41 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Kh

      They won't listen to that. You are being to logical. By the way they earned their millions (extreme sarcasm) as opposed to those all of those "evil" businesses... who actually employ thousands of people... oh wait...

      November 16, 2010 at 09:22 | Report abuse |
  27. Sharp

    All these things are the benefits of the Republican Paradise, ENJOY.

    November 16, 2010 at 08:45 | Report abuse | Reply
    • HUH

      What does this article have to do with a picture of a golden retriever with a tennis ball in his mouth?

      November 16, 2010 at 14:13 | Report abuse |
  28. jim


    recall update

    November 16, 2010 at 09:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Kh

    It's the child's rights that are trampled the most in this situation not the parents, it's really hard to pity either adult who won't make responsible decisions.

    November 16, 2010 at 09:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Jenni

    I recommend to migrating to Northern Europe. Much better life awaits there, if you're poor. I was a divorced mother of two on welfare but only a few years later I have a master's degree, kids doing well in their school and have enough money to travel and invest. Society picks one up and this lift allows one to improve one's life. I work full-time and pay my taxes: I am worth more to the society as an educated and well-to-do person than as a poor person. Our gov't does not have a single socialist in it but we are not forgetting about others, either.

    November 16, 2010 at 09:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. oldebabe

    Well, obviously when one is poor, one does without. From my personal experience, I can't accept your thesis that poverty, per se, leads to poor health for children. I come from a poor, one-parent family (they divorced when I was 3), of a foreign-born mother with two children to raise alone in SF during the real depression, i. e. the 1930s. My mother, with less than average education of that time, found a way to keep us clean, housed, fed, and schooled... and healthy; and instead of blaming others, she did what she needed to do. No excuses.

    November 16, 2010 at 10:15 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Healthy food CAN BE CHEAP

      Anyone with a brain can see that it is not a cut and dry issue. It is very complex. But, there are ways to cook and prepare healthy food. Big crock pots of homemade chicken soup, various stews, salads, pastas, fruits. It is obvious that they don't give a crap about poor people and thus make Ramen 20cents a cup. But, more parents should at least TRY to the best of their ability to make healthy meals, at least for most of the week.

      November 16, 2010 at 14:16 | Report abuse |
    • another Mom

      Well, really what is sad is that 1) there is an assumption from general society that people with lower income have no nutritional knowledge, 2) that being said there IS a large portion of people that aren't nutritionally aware. It's much cheaper and can feed a family way more to buy a bag of potatoes vs a bag of potato chips. Easy soups can be made both nutritionally and low-cost in the crockpot, just as an examples. I support my family just fine on my one income and I work full-time, however I also find the time to make whole, nutrious foods in order to support my children's health and needs. It takes some planning and a more time than it would to drive through for fast food, but my kids and myself are healthier and happier this way and there is always plenty to go around.

      November 16, 2010 at 18:32 | Report abuse |
  32. TCM

    I was malnourished for 3 years (age 6-9) thanks to my first step-mom and my dad for marrying her. My teeth are in horrible shape, enamel is thin. I have bipolar disorder, attention deficit disorder and asthma. Although they run in the family I'm the only sibling that has them. I'm the first to get rheumatoid arthritis. I may possibly have diabetes among a few other health problems. Just waiting on some tests. I just turned 28. I had DCFS called out on my family at the time, but my step-mom was watching me through the front window on our house (me and the agents were on the front porch). I was too afraid of what she would do to me if I said anything.

    November 16, 2010 at 10:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. how can i offord a phonë

    How can I offored a phone in this econamy

    November 16, 2010 at 10:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Matrix

    BTDT is absolutely correct about laws governing child support. I used to work for a child support agency in my former state. It is appauling that men whose wives cheat on them and sire illegitimate children are forced to pay child support for those kids and the biological father has no obligation.

    BTW, welfare programs do not solve the problem of poverty. They only continue the problem by giving people a bailout. Make bad decisions in life? No problem. The government is here to help... much in the same way they bail out bad business practices.

    And for those who want to know, yes, I grew up in poverty for much of my childhood. I hated the fact that we were on welfare and find it shameful. I also find it even more shameful that others revel in the fact that they get to live from money stolen... I mean taxed from other people.

    November 16, 2010 at 10:43 | Report abuse | Reply
    • No Morals Left

      This is what happens when people will do ANYTHING to thrust aside good morals and spirituality. God forbid we actually teach our children something USEFUL in school like why its important to be honest, self-sacrificing, and loving to one another. NOPE. We can't have that because we don't want to OFFEND people who may not believe in the God-given consciences we were all endowed with and the important of training it.

      November 16, 2010 at 14:27 | Report abuse |
  35. RickSanchezPRR

    blame the JEWS...I DO......

    November 16, 2010 at 11:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. momof2

    It is a sick situation we find our generation and our kids generation in. It really does not matter the exact situation that led the father or mother into parenting....The major point here is why the father and mother are bickering over who's fault it was to have a child or who needs to pay up.... this generation of babies walks away with this nasty bickering and then trickles down to the next generation. Bring back LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE...IDEAS AND GIVE THESE CHILDREN A CHANCE. IT IS THE IDEAS WE PUT OUT THERE THAT THEY LEARN FROM... WE FAILED THE CHILDREN.. MOTHERS AND FATHERS!!

    November 16, 2010 at 11:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. The Dude

    So where are the churches? I see all these mega-churches with well dressed pastors and palatial interiors. I thought churches were supposed to help those in need rather than feather their own nests. Building these houses of worship "to the glory of God!"... B.S.

    November 16, 2010 at 12:07 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Living on Charity

      The churches are there, and helping. I know of several churches in my community which operate food pantries – Catholic run St. Vincent de Paul, First Baptist Food Bank, LDS Bishops Storehouse, are just a few.

      I have first hand experience with the Bishops Storehouse, and it truly is a gift when you're in need. When we needed it, we had it. Food, cleaning supplies, even tooth paste, and toothbrushes.

      The LDS church does welfare the way it should be done. They are exceedingly generous – they'll cover 100% of your needs while helping you get back on your feet, and then they'll help you a little while longer just to make sure you're stable. And they don't just help with food. They have employment centers to help you learn how to write a better resume, and do better on interviews, they have financial advisers who can help you learn how to live within your means, even on a tiny budget.

      In my experience, they definitely practice what they preach: “Give a man a fish, and he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime.”

      November 16, 2010 at 13:34 | Report abuse |
    • Thriver

      Try a little education before you post. Churches have outreach missions that operate on shoe-string budgets most of the time. Not only does my church have a food closet to feed families, we also offer help to get them back on their feet. Yes, you have to teach a man to fish, but you can't let him starve while he's learning.

      So, Dude, why don't you log off your computer for a while and come help me bag groceries this Friday night so that we can feed a few hundred families on Saturday morning?

      November 16, 2010 at 14:01 | Report abuse |
    • The media is biased

      The media will NEVER show good religious people helping out the poor, rebuilding after disasters, and so on. The media is extremely biased to only show the negative from CERTAIN religions. They will do ANYTHING to discredit it.

      November 16, 2010 at 14:21 | Report abuse |
  38. Texas

    So basically what this article is trying to say is that if you're poor you're a crappy, abusive parent? Um.... Really. I had a choice: stay in an abusive marriage and have money, or run like, be broke, and find happiness. My kids know what a healthy, happy, loving home is now. We're broke, but we're happy. Thanks Trisha Henry for upholding the stereotype that poor folk can't be decent people and parents.

    November 16, 2010 at 13:44 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Kina

      This author is a complete retard. Talk about kicking people when they are down. People that are poor already have to go through alot. Now she is assuming THEY all are horrible parents. Get bent Trisha Henry.

      November 16, 2010 at 14:23 | Report abuse |
    • Sarah

      She is just saying that poverty is bad for children. That is hardly controversial. If no one talks about it, how will we ever change our policies which keep so many working families poor?

      November 16, 2010 at 19:58 | Report abuse |
  39. Useless Article

    I agree with 'Texas'. This article is completely pointless and hurtful.

    November 16, 2010 at 14:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Dan

    There is no short term poverty in Philadelphia, just long term, so I would assume the data statistics are wrong.

    November 16, 2010 at 16:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. SoledadoBrien

    Blame a photographer from your past!!! I do....

    November 16, 2010 at 18:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. cat

    Poverty CAN cause long-term problems for the reasons cited in the posting, including the issues posted on this thread. I was unfortunate enough to suffer from poverty for three years following my parents divorce, and the physical and emotional toll it took followed my for DECADES afterwards. I was very lucky–I got an education and can support myself now, albeit not without working seven days a week becasue of two chronic medical conditions (including one that started, and was aggrevated by, the time I was living in poverty between the ages of 14 and 18). Even with all the work I've done, I'll never be able to start my own business, and be able to continue living, because I cannot be insured independently. THAT"S what can happen when there isn't some form of universal care, or at least an understanding of the reaching effects of poverty.

    November 16, 2010 at 18:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Sarah

    I will never understand how anyone thinks that fast food is cheaper than buying some apples, rice and beans.

    November 16, 2010 at 19:55 | Report abuse | Reply
    • cat

      It can be, depending on where you live. Where I am in the Northeast, our growing season is about four-five months, otherwise, it's all shipped in and very expensive, especially midwinter. Besides, living off only rice and beans will also produce malnutrition. Variety is the key to healthy food consumption. It's not just that it's poor quality or fried food: it is that it might be the only food some people have access to. Supermarkets are rare to non-existent in most inner city areas, especially in the population-packed East coast. This makes the only source of food what you can get at the local corner variety store or what is provided at schools (also cheap "lowest bidder" food that's been endorsed by the government since the late 90's). It's easier in suburban or some rural areas to get fresh veggies, but also cost-prohibited during colder months.

      November 16, 2010 at 20:12 | Report abuse |
  44. Sarah

    But if a family of three goes to McDonald's, isn't that going to cost $12 or $15 for just one meal? One could eat rice, beans, apples and now I will throw in some cans greenbeans for at least two days for the same money. Now, I guess a family of three could eat a large bag of Doritos for dinner for about $3.50 which would be an example of a really cheap fast food dinner. Perhaps I am being too literal when I think of fast food as fast food restaurants. Maybe people just mean junk food which is extremely cheap (and cheaper than healthy food) and has the advantage of being very filling.

    November 16, 2010 at 20:29 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Sarah is Smart

      I guess I am in the minority but I will take rice,beans and green beans OVER a BIG MAC everyday........
      I don't understand how people can eat at Mickey D's

      November 17, 2010 at 14:00 | Report abuse |
    • Nemo

      Have you heard of the dollar menu?

      November 27, 2010 at 16:37 | Report abuse |
  45. Odalice feliz

    Poverty and not been able to eat a healthy meal, in America I guess or economy most be doing really bad... We as American most work hard to improve this. most

    November 17, 2010 at 00:16 | Report abuse | Reply
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    November 30, 2010 at 15:10 | Report abuse | Reply
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