National poverty rate climbs to record 46 million Americans

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While the economic recession may have formally ended in June 2009, families across America are continuing their struggle to recover. The U.S. Census Bureau announced in a Sept. 13 report that the portion of Americans living in poverty in 2010 climbed to 46.2 million people, representing 15.1 percent of the country, at the highest level since 1993. That’s 1 in 6 people living below the poverty line of just $22,113 a year for a family of four.

The Salvation Army has witnessed this increased need firsthand while serving communities throughout the nation. The Army’s “Feeding the Need 2011” food survey earlier this year found that 94 percent of Salvation Army food service programs saw an increase in demand for food assistance in 2010. In addition, nearly 60 percent of Salvation Army programs saw donations remain flat or decline from all funding sources, including government, public and private sectors. The Salvation Army in Auburn, Calif., for instance, has said it may have to start turning away those in need if its resources continue to decline.

With record numbers of Americans living in poverty, it’s more important than ever to help those who are struggling to make ends meet. Donors and volunteers can learn more about supporting The Salvation Army at



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