YATW Blog Post #2- Poverty and Hunger in Philly

Jesse Shuter

English 9 - Dunn

Orange Stream

Blog Post #2

Hunger and Poverty in Philadelphia is an issue that keeps going under the radar. For our English class at SLA every student is creating a You and the World Project. Each project consists of a world issue that we are then responsible for teaching the public about. Something that I feel is an important issue is hunger and poverty in Philadelphia. I like researching this issue because it is easy to feel close to since it is a local issue. It is also an important issue because millions of people are suffering day after day.

For this blog post I am including original research. The first part of this research was a survey that I had sent around to family, friends, teachers and pretty much anyone that was willing to participate. There was a common theme in the answers that were given. The first question listed was, Where do you think of when you think of hunger? Some people said South and Central America which are both suffering from hunger. Many people said America which is very true. However every single person that responded; whether they listed one place or many; said Africa. Now I’m not going to sit here and say that people in Africa are not suffering from starvation, because that would be absoulutley wrong and ignorant. However at the same time the point I am trying to get across is that people are suffering everywhere; even in our backyards; yet people always focus on Africa.

Why? The answer to this is clear, the reason that everyone connects Africa to hunger and forgets about Americans is propaganda. A few people commented on their responses. One person said, “Because that's all everyone hears about, but there is hunger every where else also.”. Another person says, “It's one of those things there are always hungry kids in commercials from the places I marked”. A few other people also commented saying that the reason they feel this way is the sad faces of the children in Africa that are on television and need our help. The propaganda on television is a powerful resource. Something that I have learned from this is that if the people on television could use this power to inform people about poverty in America, then it could help a lot of people get off the streets.

Something that I found interesting in these responses were that two people said that it is hard to pinpoint certain locations that suffer from hunger, because it is such a global problem. These people are exactly right. Poverty is spreading everywhere. It has always been a lower class problem, but recent studies show that even the lower middle class is starting to get hit with money issues. The hunger is growing and if we don’t stop to feed it, then everyone is going to feel the pain of living without the luxury of 3 meals a day.

Another one of my questions was what kind of community service do you participate in. Majority of the answers were that people donate clothes and toys. Only a few people actually went to help people in person. However I was pleasantly surprised because majority of the people that answered my survey did do a form of community service which is great. 

My favorite question that was on one of my surveys was, “If you faced poverty how would you react?”. This was a multiple choice question so there were multiple options as an answer to this question. The options were: Go to the government/welfare for help; Go to a shelter; Try and get a job; Ask for money from people on the streets; or Become depressed/give up. I had expected the majority of the respondents to answer that they would go to the government for help, or go to a shelter. However nearly everyone that chose to respond to this question said that they would try and get a job. Now while this seems like a logical choice from the standpoint of someone that is not facing poverty, someone that is impoverished would know how hard it is to get a job when you have no money, no references, no college degree, nothing to show for. I also found this response to be thought provoking because most people that are impoverished you do not find good jobs. Most people that become impoverished give up and either go to a shelter, get an extremely low paying job, or ask for money on the streets.

Poverty and hunger is a huge problem that needs more attention. People need to realize what is going on outside their houses every day. To see my blog post #1, which introduces you to poverty and hunger in Philadelphia and gives a better understanding of what is going on, click here. To view my bibliography click here.

In my next blog post I will include what I have been doing to make a change in the world.

To view or take my survey on Poverty and Hunger, click here.

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Above is a Picture displaying the results to my question "If you faced poverty how would you react?” (source).

The image above shows an impoverished man suffering from the cold (source).