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 Stories and images of hunger and poverty in the United States

See also World hunger pictures and stories

Dasani family lives in the Auburn Family Residence in the Fort Green neighorhood of New York City, a decrepit city-run shelter for the homeless. It is a place where mold creeps up walls and roaches swarm, where feces and vomit plug communal toilets, where sexual predators have roamed and small children stand guard for their single mothers outside filthy showers.

Invisible child: Dasani's homeless life Andrea Elliot New York Times December 9, 2013

Jenner Barrington-Ward (shown) says that she has been told, “point-blank to my face, ‘We don’t hire the unemployed.’ ” Photo: Gretchen Ertl/New York Times

Jenner Barrington-Ward says that she has been told, “point-blank to my face, ‘We don’t hire the unemployed.’ ” Photo: Gretchen Ertl/New York Times

Caught in unemployment's revolving door Annie Lowrey New York Times November 16, 2013

Joe Tarpey in his 1998 Ford Taurus station wagon. Photo: Nolan Conway/Wired

Joe Torpey has been alternating between stays in a Walmart lot and spots in the woods for the past seven years. Due to a back injury he received several years ago, he has had a tough time finding work. "This car saved my life," he says of his 1998 Ford Taurus station wagon. He fears that his car will break down, because he doesn't think he'll last living on the street. Photo: Nolan Conway/Wired

Meet the American nomads of Walmart's plentiful parking lots Jakob Schiller Wired November 1, 2013 

On the edge of poverty, at the center of a debate on food stamps Sheryl Gay Stolberg New York Times September 4, 2013

Photo of man and wife waling home with bags of groceries. Rhode Island town relies on food stamps: In Woonsocket, R.I., a third of the residents use SNAP, formerly known as food stamps, to pay for groceries. That means the businesses in the struggling town also rely on the program to survive. Photo: Michael S. Williamson/Washington Post

Rhode Island town relies on food stamps: In Woonsocket, R.I., a third of the residents use SNAP, formerly known as food stamps, to pay for groceries. That means the businesses in the struggling town also rely on the program to survive. Photo: Michael S. Williamson/Washington Post

Food stamps put Rhode Island town on monthly boom-and-bust cycle Eli Saslow Washington Post March 16, 2013

Teenage woman on trampoline. In a Rust Belt town, a teenager’s climb from poverty: Tabitha Rouzzo yearns to take a different path than those around her in New Castle, Pa., but leaving poverty requires a more exhaustive effort than it once did in America. Photo: Linda Davidson/Washington Post 

 Tabitha Rouzzo yearns to take a different path than those around her in New Castle, Pa., but leaving poverty requires a more exhaustive effort than it once did in America. Photo: Linda Davidson/Washington Post 

In Rust Belt, a teenager's climb from poverty Anne Hull Washington Post December 8, 2012

In suburbia, a dizzying fall from middle-class grace Petula Dvorak Washington Post September 25, 2012  

Portraits from a job-starved city: A tour through the stores, factories and offices of Rockford, Illinois Alec Soth and Michael Catan New York Times July 2011

Once a month, the New Light Baptist Church food pantry provides food to a very impoverished community in its parking lot. Most of this food is provided by Detroit’s Gleaner’s Food Bank that delivers 75,000 daily meals across the Detroit area. Gleaners provides food to over 400 partners – soup kitchens, food pantries, shelters, human services and nonprofit organizations that serve meals or distribute food packages.Once known as the world’s automotive center, Detroit was the home of 1.85 million people in the 1950s. Its population is now 951,000 and there are an estimated 80,000 abandoned buildings within the city.

Once a month, the New Light Baptist Church food pantry provides food to a very impoverished community in its parking lot. Most of this food is provided by Detroit’s Gleaner’s Food Bank that delivers 75,000 daily meals across the Detroit area. Gleaners provides food to over 400 partners – soup kitchens, food pantries, shelters, human services and nonprofit organizations that serve meals or distribute food packages.Once known as the world’s automotive center, Detroit was the home of 1.85 million people in the 1950s. Its population is now 951,000 and there are an estimated 80,000 abandoned buildings within the city.

Detroit food bank 2010 (photo essay) Anthony Suau Facing Change July 2011

Every year when the spring comes, families get in their big pickup trucks in the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, or the Salt River Valley in Arizona, and head for Hollister.  Generations of families have made the annual migration to get jobs in the San Benito Foods cannery, or in the local fields on the machines harvesting the tomatoes that get canned there.  This year work is slow. Every Saturday, the distribution point at the migrant labor camp is the first stop for the Hollister food bank truck. Why are those people that pick our crops so poor that they need food assistance? Photo: David Bacon

Every year when the spring comes, families get in their big pickup trucks in the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, or the Salt River Valley in Arizona, and head for Hollister.  Generations of families have made the annual migration to get jobs in the San Benito Foods cannery, or in the local fields on the machines harvesting the tomatoes that get canned there.  This year work is slow. Every Saturday, the distribution point at the migrant labor camp is the first stop for the Hollister food bank truck. Why are those people that pick our crops so poor that they need food assistance? Photo: David Bacon

South of Silicon Valley, hunger haunts California town David Bacon New American Media June 20, 2010

The tiny towns that line the U.S.-Mexico border in east San Diego County—Campo, Boulevard and Tierra del Sol—mark the road north for hundreds of migrants as they cross the border, and travel on. But for the people who live here, some with roots going back generations, these tiny communities are home to growing hunger and poverty. Photo: David Bacon  

Border communities are ground zero for hunger David Bacon New American Media April 18, 2011  

In southwest Virginia, a chasm between need and assistance: The economic problems of Pulaski, Va. — where one-third of residents live in poverty — haunt Denise Hancock’s office, the New River Community Action office. Here, the spiraling number of clients seeking money for basic necessities meets the shrinking resources of her community service organization. And now, with the group’s funds nearly exhausted, Hancock worries about her job, too.

In southwest Virginia, as more need help, aid organization has less to give Eli Saslow Washington Post April 17, 2011

Jodi Taylor lived in a trailer before landing a state job in 1996, when her hourly wage jumped to $9. Money is still tight and her youngest son, Joey Ritter, has just enlisted in the Marines. Photo: Andrea Morales/New York Times More Photos

Ohio town sees public job as only route to middle class  Sabrina Tavernise New York Times March 15, 2011  Economic downturn holds fierce grip on border town Jennifer Medina New York Times March 16, 2011 

Farmworkers harvesting lettuce Photo: Annie Tritt/New York Times

Farmworkers harvesting lettuce Photo: Annie Tritt/New York Times

Itinerant life weighs on farm workers' children  Patricia Leigh Brown New York Times March 12, 2011

Jodi Taylor lived in a trailer before landing a state job in 1996, when her hourly wage jumped to $9. Money is still tight and her youngest son, Joey Ritter, has just enlisted in the Marines. Photo: Andrea Morales/New York Times More Photos

Ohio town sees public job as only route to middle class  Sabrina Tavernise New York Times March 15, 2011  Economic downturn holds fierce grip on border town Jennifer Medina New York Times March 16, 2011 

Farmworkers harvesting lettuce Photo: Annie Tritt/New York Times

Farmworkers harvesting lettuce Photo: Annie Tritt/New York Times

Itinerant life weighs on farm workers' children  Patricia Leigh Brown New York Times March 12, 2011

“I was worried and scared and very worried,” recalls Leah Kehler, a fourth grader who told a teacher her second-worst fear. Photo: Andrew Spear/New York Times

  “I was worried and scared and very worried,” recalls Leah Kehler, a fourth grader who told a teacher her second-worst fear. Photo: Andrew Spear/New York Times

"Teacher, my dad lost his job. Do we have to move?" Michael Winerip New York Times January 30, 2011

For 13 year-old Ellifina Jean, life is very difficult.  She and her family are preparing to leave Virginia's apple orchards for Florida's orange groves. She lives in Virginia's largest migrant worker camp, a group of one-story cinder block buildings constructed to house German prisoners of war during WWII. Students move four or more times a year, and must adust to new schools, typically in new states, each time. Photo: Washington Post

For migrant worker children, frequent school changes damage learning Kevin Sieff Washington Post November 7, 2010

Greg Dawson considers himself lucky to still have work, as a night-shift electrician installing lights in a chain of grocery stores. He lives in the house he's building in Martinsville, Ohio, with his wife, Sheila, and their five children, and they get a $300 benefit through the food stamps program. "It's embarrassing," said Mr. Dawson, 29. "I always thought it was people trying to milk the system. But we just felt like we really needed the help right now."

Greg Dawson considers himself lucky to still have work, as a night-shift electrician installing lights in a chain of grocery stores. He lives in the house he's building in Martinsville, Ohio, with his wife, Sheila, and their five children, and they get a $300 benefit through the food stamps program. "It's embarrassing," said Mr. Dawson, 29. "I always thought it was people trying to milk the system. But we just felt like we really needed the help right now."  Photo: Stephen Crowley/The New York Times

Across the United States, food stamp use soars and stigma fades--program now helps feed one in eight Americans and one in four children  Jason DeParle and Robert Gebeloff  New York Times November 28, 2009  More photos

Shane Palmer, right, kisses his fiancé, Maria Maior outside the storage unit they are living in with her 12-year-old son in a northwest Chicago suburb. The family of three splits time between their storage unit and motels following a job loss and a string of bad luck. Photo: David Pierini/ ChicagoTribune

Shane Palmer, right, kisses his fiancé, Maria Maior outside the storage unit they are living in with her 12-year-old son in a northwest Chicago suburb. The family of three splits time between their storage unit and motels following a job loss and a string of bad luck. Photo: David Pierini/ ChicagoTribune

Homeless students: increasingly, families taking shelter anywhere they can Bonnie Miller Rubin Chicago Tribune October 28, 2009 See Hunger Notes special report: the world financial, food and hunger crisis

Clinton Anchors, 18, in Medford, Ore., has been on his own, living in the streets and camping in the woods since he was 12. Photo: Monica Almeida/The New York Times

Clinton Anchors, 18, in Medford, Ore., has been on his own, living in the streets and camping in the woods since he was 12. Photo: Monica Almeida/The New York Times

Recession drives surge in youth runaways Ian Urbina  New York Times October 5, 2009  How teens in Medford Oregon who have left home get by (video) 

Familes receive food at a food distribution organized every month by Hope for the Heart in Hayward.  Many people begin lining up for food the day before, and sleep overnight on the sidewalk in order to make sure they get their food before it runs out.  Photo: David Bacon

Hungry families sleep on the sidewalk, waiting for food in Hayward California (photos)  David Bacon August 15, 2009 More financial, food, and hunger crisis stories

After losing their jobs, Scott and Kelly Nichols watched their finances and options dwindle, eventually making the tough decision to move their family to Kelly's mother's basement in Michigan. Photo: Washington Post  See article for further pictures

After losing their jobs, Scott and Kelly Nichols watched their finances and options dwindle, eventually making the tough decision to move their family to Kelly's mother's basement in Michigan. Photo: Washington Post  See article for further pictures

For many Americans, nowhere to go but down Paul Schwartzman Washington Post August 5, 2009

A family cell for undocumented immigrants at the T. Don Hutto Residential Center, a former state prison near Austin, Tex., that drew an American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit and scathing news coverage for putting young children behind razor wire.. The government will stop sending families there. Photo: L.M. Otero/New York Times

US government plans to overhaul immigration detainee system that currently places 400,000 people each year in 350 jails and prisons Nina Bernstein  New York Times  August 5, 2009

One location where a Chicago food bank is helping feed people that need food. Photo: BBC See complete video

One location where a Chicago food bank is helping feed people that need food. Photo: BBC

Poverty hits African Americans hard  BBC News April 23, 2009  See video of food distribution 

Atlantic City homeless shelter video  BBC News April 22, 2009

Homeless victims of credit crunch  BBC News April 14, 2009

 

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