The statistics and the stories of poverty in Iowa
We often complain that the establishment media pay too little attention to the plight of children in this country. After all, more than 1 in 5 children lives in poverty now, and the effects of even a brief period of deprivation can last a lifetime.
That’s why today we’re proud to direct you to a special report on child poverty by the Des Moines Register. With an in-depth look at both the personal stories and the overall trends in poverty in the state, the paper gives a complete picture of what it’s like to struggle and what it means for the kids. The stories are particularly effecting, like the single mother whose car troubles finally doomed her college aspirations, after she tried to make it all work with mouths to feed.
Meanwhile, the trend stories show how maddeningly short-sighted it is to allow poverty to persist the way it has. Experts show that without doing more to head off poverty, Iowa risks a downward spiral of attracting only lower-wage jobs that in turn will ensure continued economic depression. And the recent surge in the need for service like food stamps testify to how families have continued to struggle long after Wall Street has recovered from the economic crunch.
“The food insecurity, the hunger, that one keeps me up at night,” said Elisabeth Buck, a United Way of Central Iowa senior vice president. She referenced agricultural abundance in Iowa, a state that leads the nation in production of pork and eggs. “It doesn’t feel right in your gut, that we should be in a state like Iowa and have these issues.”
Learn more about poverty in Iowa from our member organization there, the Child and Family Policy Center, who tipped us off to this special report.