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Education and Poverty

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Today more than ever, education remains the key to escaping poverty, while poverty remains the biggest obstacle to education. The effects of poverty on children are wide-reaching and can lead to lifelong struggles, especially when young people don’t receive full educations. Poverty and education are inextricably linked, because people living in poverty may stop going to school, so they can work, which leaves them without literacy and numeracy skills they need to further their careers. Their children, in turn, are in an analogous situation years later, with little income and few options but to leave school and word. Instead of pushing nationwide testing and higher standards across the board,s education reform should focus on school districts in poor neighborhoods with targeted investments designed to counteract the effects of poverty on educational achievement. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention could play a big in addition to preschool and extended school hours, their scope can be broadened to include health care and nutrition support, as well as parental training and mentoring programs to improve household stability. Although hunger affects every community in the United States, some groups of people are more vulnerable than others. African Americans are two times more likely to be food insecure than white, non-Hispanic households.  For starters, food insecurity among children has been linked to poor academic performance. According to No Kid Hungry, 80% teachers said that they have seen students lose the ability to concentrate because they are hungry. Nearly 60 % of children from low-income families say they have come to school on an empty stomach. The long-term consequences of sending kids to class hungry are substantial. Children who experience food insecurity in kindergarten fall behind in tend to stay behind . Food insecurity can also lead to a host of health problems. People who are hungry are 2.9x more likely to be in poor health and are more susceptible to chronic conditions like diabetes. Food insecurity has also been linked to higher rates of obesity among both adults and children. Low-income households are more likely to be uninsured and must pay for the extraordinary costs of healthcare out of their own pockets, which drives them even deeper into poverty.  USDA, EPA and FDA should improve coordination and communication across federal agencies to educate Americans on the effects and importance of lowering food loss and waste. We can solve this issue by supporting higher minimum wages so that workers are being fairly compensated for their labor. It means increasing access to fresh and nutritious food. We must also strengthen safety net programs like SNAP and Medicaid, so that families who are experiencing tough times don’t fall deeper into poverty. Everyone should have access to an adequate place to live, so we need to protect and expand programs that will increase the supply of affordable housing. We should invest in our schools to ensure that all children are provided a quality education, fortify school breakfast and lunch programs so that kids are well-fed and able to focus during class, and supplement the disposable income of millions of families by providing child care assistance. Finally, we must acknowledge that hunger disproportionately affects African Americans, Latinos, and Native Americans and take steps to right the historical wrongs that have trapped a sizable percentage of these groups in poverty for generations. Remedying the problem will require an extraordinary commitment to our disadvantaged citizens, because Rome was not built in a day. Even if it is a long journey, but united we stand so let’s start delivering truckloads of non-perishables to our food banks and pantries, because millions of Americans need help today.



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