As mentioned in our last newsletter, our chapter has completed our report on poverty, “In Search of a Better Understanding of Poverty.”
During our 2009-2010 study on poverty, our chapter attempted to better understand the challenges of poverty. Poverty is a complex issue and our understanding of its root causes, contributing factors, and ways to alleviate it is incomplete. Our paper is a reflection of what we learned from speakers, documentaries, our experiences, and other resources addressing issues associated with poverty. It is not intended to be a comprehensive work. However, it can be an effective guide to help our members embark on an action plan to be in ministry with those living in poverty.
It is interesting to note that shortly after our report was completed, the US Office of Management and Budget reported that our nation’s poverty rate jumped to 14.3% in 2009, its highest level since 1994, and the 43.6 million Americans in need is the highest number in 51 years of record-keeping. The OMB defined the poverty threshold level as less than $21,954 for a family of four in 2009 and $10,956 for an individual.
The MFSA report is available here (MFSA Poverty Report) as a PDF (652 KB). Paper copies will be available at the next chapter meeting.