The demographics and economics behind hunger

first_imgTCU places second in the National Student Advertising Competition, the highest in school history Haeven Gibbonshttps://www.tcu360.com/author/haeven-gibbons/ Welcome TCU Class of 2025 Linkedin Previous articleHoroscope: January 26, 2021Next articleHoroscope: January 27, 2021 Haeven Gibbons Twitter Haeven Gibbonshttps://www.tcu360.com/author/haeven-gibbons/ Image Magazine: Spring 2021 Haeven Gibbonshttps://www.tcu360.com/author/haeven-gibbons/ Linkedin Haeven Gibbons Facebook Facebook RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR World Oceans Day shines spotlight on marine plastic pollution Vintage fever: Fort Worth residents and vintage connoisseurs talk about their passion for thrifting Grains to grocery: One bread maker brings together farmers and artisans at locally-sourced store ReddIt NewsCommunityIn-depth reportingMultimediaTop StoriesThe demographics and economics behind hungerBy Haeven Gibbons – January 26, 2021 1305 Twitter printThe 76114CISD adapts meal plans amid pandemicChildren and hungerEconomics of hungerThe demographics and economics behind hungerHunger in America: Part 2By Haeven Gibbons(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)This report was compiled using reporting done by students enrolled in JOUR 30204 035/065, fall semester 2020. Working in teams, students explored the issue of hunger in America through the Fault Lines of class, generation, geography, gender, sexual orientation and race. They focused on Tarrant County, Texas.  The classes included: Charles Baggarly, Leah Bolling, Molly Boyce, Haley Cabrera, Connor Cash, Brian Contreras, Cole DeLuca, Larry Flores, Kaitlyn Freetag, Caroline Garland, Andre Giammattei, Haeven Gibbons, Logan Gibbs, Kiana Giddings, Stephanie Joynt, Ben Kasper, Samantha Knapp, Molly Kuhl, Shaina Looker, Lucie Lundquist, Hailey Lyon, Derek Lytle, Cole Marchi, Morgan McBride, Angelica Menjivar, Raines Nagel, Tyresa Oluyide, Joey Palmeri, Collin Pittman, Colin Post, Braden Roux, Oscar Saravia, Matthew Sgroi, Asia Soliday, Branisha Spincer, Sophia Stellas, Charlotte Tomlinson, Sophia Vandewark.Hunger tends to saturate specific zip codes within counties. In Tarrant County, 76114, or the city of River Oaks, experiences hunger at a disproportionate rate to its neighbors. Castleberry Independent School District is located in River Oaks and has an 80% reliance on free or reduced lunch programs. The state average is 62%.The reliance on free or reduced lunches in CISD correlates with the demographics of River Oaks, one of the few areas within Tarrant County with a poverty rate above 10%.The city’s median yearly income of $51,840 also falls below the Tarrant County average of  $64,874.The percentage of Latinx/Hispanic residents in River Oaks – 49.3% – is more extensive than state and county percentages of Latinx/Hispanic populations of 39.7% and 29.5%.Approximately 80% of the elementary schools’ student enrollment in CISD is made up of Latinx/Hispanic people who moved to River Oaks over the last 20 years.Many of the people who have moved to River Oaks have started a family and therefore have children attending schools within CISD.    As the demographics show, impoverished Hispanic areas of River Oaks make up the largest enrollment and free and reduced lunch percentages of CISD schools, and so do single mother households. Joel Berg, the CEO of Hunger Free America, a national nonprofit organization working to implement policies ending hunger, said the “hungriest houses” are headed by single women. “In general, women have higher poverty rates,” Berg said. “We run the national hunger hotline on behalf of USDA where people from around the country call and ask for information about how they can get charitable food or government food. Something like 80-90% of the callers are female.”The U.S. Census reported that 50.3% of the population in River Oaks is female, and 54.3% of these women above 16 years old are in the workforce, which contributes to their hunger disparity.Berg also commented on the disproportionality of women’s pay in the workforce compared to men. He said that some women who “have identical jobs as men… are paid less” or are “more likely to be in professions that overall pay less.”According to The North Central Texas Council of Governments, River Oaks has one of the top percentages of women-headed households in the state.  Overall, a higher percentage of women-headed households in a community can indicate a greater risk of poverty and economic instability in families. More instability contributes to the reliance on free and reduced lunches for children. Photo 1&3- (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)Photo 2- (AP Photo/Jessie Wardarski)Like the influx of women-headed households in River Oaks, low rates of educational degrees also contribute to hungry homes.In River Oaks, 76.4% of people over 25 have a high-school diploma, but just13.2% of people over 25 have a bachelor’s degree or higher. Both of these figures fall below the state averages of 83% and 29% respectively.  Fifty-six percent of jobs in Texas require postsecondary education, according to the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce. Subsequently, finding employment is challenging for the high percentage of River Oaks people with no such degrees, and household provisions are compromised. CISD’s demographic has a statistically higher rate of impoverishment than the Texas average. Because of this, the district provides free and reduced lunches for a large sum of its enrolled students. This community is evidence of the disproportionate rate at which women and children experience hunger. Briana Dominguez, center, sits with her sons, Noah Scott, 4, left, and Nehemiah Powell, 14, for a portrait inside their their Skokie, Ill., apartment with groceries she received at the Hillside Food Pantry. After her employer eliminated her job, the family is moving to Georgia where living costs are lower. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)Briana Dominguez, center, sits with her sons, Noah Scott, 4, left, and Nehemiah Powell, 14, for a portrait inside their their Skokie, Ill., apartment with groceries she received at the Hillside Food Pantry. After her employer eliminated her job, the family is moving to Georgia where living costs are lower. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)From left, Abigail Leocadio, stands with her children, Areli, 9, Eliel, 12, Zeret, 10, and Samai, 15, after a delivery from the Emmaus House food pantry Saturday, Nov. 14, 2020, in Phoenix. Leocadio says the food provides less than half of what her family eats in four weeks, but significantly reduces their monthly bill. Before the pandemic, the family was saving to buy a house, but that money has been wiped out. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)Silvia De Leon pours a handmade salsa into a pot of chicken after returning home from a local church food pantry in Noel, Mo., Saturday, Nov. 21, 2020. After contracting the coronavirus in late June, De Leon was unable to work and her medical bills mounted. For the past five months, she has utilized the pantry every week to sustain the household she shares with her retired husband. (AP Photo/Jessie Wardarski)From left, Abigail Leocadio, stands with her children, Areli, 9, Eliel, 12, Zeret, 10, and Samai, 15, after a delivery from the Emmaus House food pantry Saturday, Nov. 14, 2020, in Phoenix. Leocadio says the food provides less than half of what her family eats in four weeks, but significantly reduces their monthly bill. Before the pandemic, the family was saving to buy a house, but that money has been wiped out. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)Silvia De Leon pours a handmade salsa into a pot of chicken after returning home from a local church food pantry in Noel, Mo., Saturday, Nov. 21, 2020. After contracting the coronavirus in late June, De Leon was unable to work and her medical bills mounted. For the past five months, she has utilized the pantry every week to sustain the household she shares with her retired husband. (AP Photo/Jessie Wardarski)CISD adapts meal plans amid pandemic(AP Photo/Matt York,File)(AP Photo/Matt York,File)The elementary schools of Castleberry Independent School District — Castleberry Elementary School, A.V. Cato Elementary School and Joy James Elementary — have adjusted their meal plans amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Kayla Lynn, the school nutrition director for CISD, highlighted the drop in meal services that occurred when schools began shutting down in March. “In March when things were shut down, we were doing about 900 meals a day for remote meals, versus the previous March when everyone was on campus, where we were doing about 2,700 lunches per day,” Lynn said. “So to go from that to 900 a day, it’s a really big difference.”CISD elementary schools changed their reduced lunch policies after the Texas state-mandated lockdown that began on April 2.  As a result, parents were required to drive to campus to pick up the free and reduced meals. Photo: Amid concerns of the spread of COVID-19, a family picks up school lunches served out of a school bus at an apartment complex in Dallas, Tuesday, May 5, 2020. The Richardson ISD school lunch program is meeting the needs of students in Dallas County by distributing daily lunches at different apartments and school locations. According to this site manager, 200-250 meals are distributed daily at this apartment complex. (AP Photo/LM Otero)Lynn said this caused issues, as parents did not come to campus to pick up food and had problems with the district’s identification policy.”If students were not in the car with you when you came to pick up the meals, you had to have an ID that proved you had those kids to get the meals,” said Lynn. “That was somewhat of a challenge because parents didn’t understand why they had to prove that they had five kids at home.”Despite the students’ return to campus on Sept. 8, CISD decided to continue free meal provisions for students who request or need them. Meals include breakfast, lunch and dinner. Photo: Amid concerns of the spread of COVID-19, brothers Brian, left, and David Rayo wear masks as they pick up school lunches for themselves and other siblings at their apartment complex in Dallas, Tuesday, May 5, 2020. The Richardson ISD school lunch program is meeting the needs of students in Dallas County by distributing daily lunches at different apartments and school locations. According to this site manager, 200-250 meals are distributed daily at this apartment complex. (AP Photo/LM Otero)The pandemic has given CISD more policy flexibility toward free and reduced meals.In the past, enrichment programs were the only means by which students could access free meals after school. “There used to be a lot of requirements you had to meet to access the supper program,” said Lynn. “It used to be through an enrichment program like tutoring or a club or sports on campus.”Now, students have the option to complete enrichment programs at home for free supper access.”We are serving about 1000-1200 more suppers than last year just mainly on being able to send home the enrichment activity with the student,” said Lynn. “They can then do that at home and have the supper at home as well.” The free supper program is accessible for students until the end of the 2020-2021 academic year in June. The district will decide whether to keep the free lunches for the 2021-2022 school year based on the severity of COVID-19 at that time, but hopes of flexibility on lunch policies remain.DeAnne Page, executive director of finance for CISD, said these programs have proved beneficial for students who cannot afford enrichment programs like tutoring. “From my perspective, we would love to see it if USDA would give us that flexibility because we have two elementary schools that are 90% free and reduced, so that’s pretty high,” said Page. “Those students need something, and maybe they don’t have a way that they can stay after school for tutoring for whatever reason.”Lynn said she hopes the supper program will continue for students who cannot physically stay after school, but once COVID-19 regulations are gone, she said she doesn’t know if that will be a possibility. Children and hunger(AP Photo/Richard Shiro)(AP Photo/Richard Shiro)The face of hunger has changed with the decades, but for children, it has been a longtime battle.The 1960s in particular showed the struggles that some children faced with getting enough food.  A study by a team of doctors in 1967 highlighted children’s hunger in Mississippi. “We saw homes with children who are lucky to eat one meal a day,” the report read. “We saw children who don’t get to drink milk, don’t get to eat fruit, green vegetables or meat… We don’t want to quibble over the words but ‘malnutrition’ is not quite what we found… They are suffering from hunger and disease and directly or indirectly they are dying from them – which is exactly what ‘starvation’ means.”One of the turning points in the fight against child hunger came after the release of a CBS television documentary called “Hunger in America.” One of the most powerful scenes of the documentary portrays a young boy who was ashamed of having no money to buy food in school.The late Sen. George McGovern, D-South Dakota, summarized what some felt when they watched the documentary.  “You know, it’s not that little boy who should be ashamed; it’s George McGovern, a United States Senator, a member of the Committee on Agriculture,” he said. Former President Richard Nixon also became one of the figures that joined the fight against hunger. He committed to provide free or reduced-price lunches for children in schools and created the Food and Nutrition Service division of the USDA. Entering the 1970s, Nixon’s plan saw the number of children receiving free or reduced-price meals double. “That hunger and malnutrition should persist in a land such as ours is embarrassing and intolerable,” he said in a message to Congress in 1969. Nixon didn’t stop with child hunger. The food stamp program he helped pass in 1969 increased the number of people benefitting from food stamps from 3 million to 15 million over the span of four years. Jayden Messick, 9, helps his parents, Brian and Airis Messick, prepare lunch at their apartment in Anchorage, Alaska, on Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2020. The Messicks have had to turn to food banks after both lost their jobs in the economic downturn caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Airris, who just turned 30, found work in August, ironically, at the state unemployment office. “I hear people’s stories all day,” she says. “I listen to moms cry about not having money to take care of their kids. My heart aches for the people who get denied.” (AP Photo/Mark Thiessen)Airis Messick, left, and Brian Messick, right, eat lunch with this 9-year-old son, Jayden, at their apartment in Anchorage, Alaska, on Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2020. (AP Photo/Mark Thiessen)Aaron Crawford, his wife Sheyla and their sons, Sornic, left, and Gabriel, stand for a photograph outside their Apple Valley, Minn., home on Saturday, Nov. 21, 2020. The couple turned to a Minnesota nonprofit, 360 Communities, part of Feeding America’s food bank network, when the pandemic’s economic fallout put them in peril. The couple and their two young sons are among the millions who’ve flocked to food banks as hunger has reached record levels since the virus took hold in America. The Crawfords are now getting aid from federal food stamps. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)Jayden Messick, 9, helps his parents, Brian and Airis Messick, prepare lunch at their apartment in Anchorage, Alaska, on Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2020. The Messicks have had to turn to food banks after both lost their jobs in the economic downturn caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Airris, who just turned 30, found work in August, ironically, at the state unemployment office. “I hear people’s stories all day,” she says. “I listen to moms cry about not having money to take care of their kids. My heart aches for the people who get denied.” (AP Photo/Mark Thiessen)Airis Messick, left, and Brian Messick, right, eat lunch with this 9-year-old son, Jayden, at their apartment in Anchorage, Alaska, on Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2020. (AP Photo/Mark Thiessen)Aaron Crawford, his wife Sheyla and their sons, Sornic, left, and Gabriel, stand for a photograph outside their Apple Valley, Minn., home on Saturday, Nov. 21, 2020. The couple turned to a Minnesota nonprofit, 360 Communities, part of Feeding America’s food bank network, when the pandemic’s economic fallout put them in peril. The couple and their two young sons are among the millions who’ve flocked to food banks as hunger has reached record levels since the virus took hold in America. The Crawfords are now getting aid from federal food stamps. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)Economics of hungerNixon’s success was followed by a series of policies in the 1980s that some believe contributed to the modern hunger crisis rather than helping fix it. The administration and policies of Ronald Reagan in particular is seen by Berg as a catalyst in the hunger crisis.  Reagan’s trademark trickle-down economics plan had a negative domino effect on the economy. By making minimum wages lower and decreasing taxes on companies and corporations, the administration created a large wealth gap. This is what caused the ’80s to have a massive hunger deficit with effects that are still felt today. Photo: Phyllis Marder walks to her garage in the cold weather for her weekly trip Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2020, to the Hillside Food Pantry in Evanston, Ill. At first, Marder, 66, didn’t tell anyone about going to food pantries. Then she had a change of heart. “Keeping a secret makes things get worse,” she says ‘”… and makes me feel worse about myself, and so I decided that it was more important to talk about it.” (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)Joel Berg on the importance of higher wages:Haeven G · Joel Berg on the importance of higher wages“We really created the modern hunger and homelessness crisis,” Berg said when talking about the Reagan administration’s effect on hunger. While federal programs such as SNAP and WIC can help assist food insecure people, hunger will continue in America until larger changes are made, said Berg.“The most important things are higher wage jobs and more affordable housing, health care and childcare,” Berg said. “Between the high cost of living, the low wages and the inadequate safety net, those are the main causes of the problem.”  Source: The Century Foundation; Chart: William M. Rodgers IIISource: The Century Foundation; Chart: William M. Rodgers IIIIn the early 1990s, President Bill Clinton’s budget and economic plan changed the economic landscape and in turn, the hunger issue in America.“Clinton had the greatest economic growth in modern American history,” Berg said. This led to a decline in hunger through the ’90s and early 2000s. While hunger didn’t go away, some of its lowest rates were seen during this era.The trend took another turn when the Great Recession occurred in 2008. The economic downfall and corresponding unemployment spike increased America’s hunger problem. “When the economies collapse you are going to see a lot more hunger no matter what you do,” Berg said.Policies by President Obama slowly helped fix the spike caused by the Great Recession – and then the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Phyllis Marder prepares to head out in the cold weather for her weekly trip Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2020, to the Hillside Food Pantry in Evanston, Ill. At first, Marder, 66, didn’t tell anyone about going to food pantries. Then she had a change of heart. “Keeping a secret makes things get worse,” she says ‘”… and makes me feel worse about myself, and so I decided that it was more important to talk about it.” (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)Nehemiah Powell, 14, sips on a drink Saturday, Nov. 21, 2020, as a volunteer at the Hillside Food Pantry social distances while he loads a bag of groceries into the family car in Evanston, Ill. After her employer eliminated her job, the family is moving to Georgia where living costs are lower. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)Noah Scott, 4, sits on the shoulders of his brother Nehemiah Powell, 14, Saturday, Nov. 21, 2020, as Powell labels a packed moving box in their Skokie, Ill., apartment. After her employer eliminated her job, the family is moving to Georgia where living costs are lower. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)Norman Butler, a first time food bank user, and his girlfriend Cheryl Butler wait overnight in their car, along with others lined up to receive food at a distribution point in Metairie, La., Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020. Before the pandemic, Norman, 53, flourished in the tourism-dominated city, working as an airport shuttle and limousine driver, a valet and hotel doorman. Since March when the normally bustling streets turned silent, the only work he’s had has been as an Uber driver. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)Larry Holt, left, thanks Diana Everett after she delivered a box of food to his apartment, Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020, in Las Vegas. Holt lost his casino job during the coronavirus pandemic and receives assistance from a food bank. (AP Photo/John Locher)Norman Butler unboxes food that he received at a food distribution point, in his apartment, after waiting in line overnight, in New Orleans, Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020. Before the pandemic, Butler, 53, flourished in the tourism-dominated city, working as an airport shuttle and limousine driver, a valet and hotel doorman. Since March when the normally bustling streets turned silent, the only work he’s had has been as an Uber driver. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)Bags of food from a local church pantry sit on the kitchen table in the home of Silvia De Leon in Noel, Mo., Saturday, Nov. 21, 2020. After losing her sense of taste, the Tyson Foods employee realized she had contracted the coronavirus and was out of work for several weeks. She has utilized the food pantry every Saturday for the past five months as she and her retired husband pay off coronavirus related medical bills. “If it weren’t for this, I don’t know what I’d do,” said De Leon. (AP Photo/Jessie Wardarski)Briana Dominguez, right, listens to her son, Noah Scott, pout about not be able to eat his sandwich on the living room floor instead of at the table, in the kitchen of their Skokie, Ill., apartment on Saturday, Nov. 21, 2020. After her employer eliminated her job, the family is moving to Georgia where living costs are lower. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)Phyllis Marder prepares to head out in the cold weather for her weekly trip Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2020, to the Hillside Food Pantry in Evanston, Ill. At first, Marder, 66, didn’t tell anyone about going to food pantries. Then she had a change of heart. “Keeping a secret makes things get worse,” she says ‘”… and makes me feel worse about myself, and so I decided that it was more important to talk about it.” (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)Nehemiah Powell, 14, sips on a drink Saturday, Nov. 21, 2020, as a volunteer at the Hillside Food Pantry social distances while he loads a bag of groceries into the family car in Evanston, Ill. After her employer eliminated her job, the family is moving to Georgia where living costs are lower. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)Noah Scott, 4, sits on the shoulders of his brother Nehemiah Powell, 14, Saturday, Nov. 21, 2020, as Powell labels a packed moving box in their Skokie, Ill., apartment. After her employer eliminated her job, the family is moving to Georgia where living costs are lower. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)Norman Butler, a first time food bank user, and his girlfriend Cheryl Butler wait overnight in their car, along with others lined up to receive food at a distribution point in Metairie, La., Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020. Before the pandemic, Norman, 53, flourished in the tourism-dominated city, working as an airport shuttle and limousine driver, a valet and hotel doorman. Since March when the normally bustling streets turned silent, the only work he’s had has been as an Uber driver. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)Larry Holt, left, thanks Diana Everett after she delivered a box of food to his apartment, Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020, in Las Vegas. Holt lost his casino job during the coronavirus pandemic and receives assistance from a food bank. (AP Photo/John Locher)Norman Butler unboxes food that he received at a food distribution point, in his apartment, after waiting in line overnight, in New Orleans, Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020. Before the pandemic, Butler, 53, flourished in the tourism-dominated city, working as an airport shuttle and limousine driver, a valet and hotel doorman. Since March when the normally bustling streets turned silent, the only work he’s had has been as an Uber driver. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)Bags of food from a local church pantry sit on the kitchen table in the home of Silvia De Leon in Noel, Mo., Saturday, Nov. 21, 2020. After losing her sense of taste, the Tyson Foods employee realized she had contracted the coronavirus and was out of work for several weeks. She has utilized the food pantry every Saturday for the past five months as she and her retired husband pay off coronavirus related medical bills. “If it weren’t for this, I don’t know what I’d do,” said De Leon. (AP Photo/Jessie Wardarski)Briana Dominguez, right, listens to her son, Noah Scott, pout about not be able to eat his sandwich on the living room floor instead of at the table, in the kitchen of their Skokie, Ill., apartment on Saturday, Nov. 21, 2020. After her employer eliminated her job, the family is moving to Georgia where living costs are lower. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)TopBuilt with Shorthand ReddIt A fox’s tail: the story of TCU’s campus foxes + posts Haeven Gibbonshttps://www.tcu360.com/author/haeven-gibbons/ Welcome TCU Class of 2025 Life in Fort Worthlast_img read more

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