It's The Most Wonderful Time of the Year, Except For the 30 Percent of Dallas County Children Living Below the Poverty Line

Categories: News
DallascountyPovertyStats.JPG
Shortly before Thanksgiving 2007, Timothy Bray and co-author Nathan Berg of the University of Texas at Dallas issued a report that hasn't aged a day since its initial publication: Access to Grocery Stores and Food Security in Dallas, which began the ongoing conversation concerning the so-called "food desert" that exists in the southern Dallas. Four years later, Bray -- now director of UTD's Institute for Urban Policy Research -- helped oversee data collection for another sobering paper: Beyond ABC 2011: Assessing Children's Health in Dallas County, which runs 92 pages and is perhaps best summed up by this paragraph:
In Dallas County, 29.4 percent of our children live in poverty, defined in 2011 as an income of less than $22,350 for a family of two adults and two children. That means that about 192,502 children live below the poverty line -- enough to fill Cowboys Stadium more than twice over. Tens of thousands more Dallas County children live just above poverty level, in families that can be best classified as "the working poor."
The study was released earlier this month during a symposium at Children's Medical Center, which reports seeing 135,000 visits from kids each year -- all to the Emergency Department, most for non-emergencies. That, says Children's, is "the reality of serving as the safety-net pediatric hospital for Dallas County without receiving any county tax dollars." Says the study: There's been a 39-percent increase in child-abuse and neglect cases in Dallas County since 2000 (officials confirmed 5,591 last year alone); kids are growing "more overweight and more malnourished"; and "Dallas County's poor children attend public schools that too often are in disrepair, overcrowded and chronically underfunded."

The report came and went a few weeks ago with little fanfare; hence, perhaps, the reason UTD sends this reminder of its existence on this Monday after Thanksgiving. Says Bray: "One of three children lives in poverty in Dallas County. One in three children has lived in poverty in Dallas County for a number of years. And the biggest question that we now have to face is: What are we going to do about it?"

Advertisement

My Voice Nation Help
17 comments
Suburbanmale08
Suburbanmale08

Has anyone ever heard of a locally based company called Simply Produce? They deliver fresh produce to people's homes and offices and it's pretty affordable too. their website is www.simplyproduce.net  

It's not exactly a grocery store right across the street but it beats having nothing.

Be a food donor
Be a food donor

Fellow commenters, it is ridiculously easy to organize a canned food drive or a virtual food drive for the North Texas Food Bank. You can do so online, and you usually hear back from the food bank confirming the details on the same business day. It's a great activity for offices large and small, church groups, classrooms, apartment complexes, and if you're brave, families (have family members bring canned goods for holiday get-togethers). My company's doing a canned food drive this holiday season, and another company in the same building held one several months ago that they invited everyone in the building to contribute to.

It's true that donating food and money to the food bank directly are not long-term solutions for the food deserts that persist in low income urban areas, but these actions provide immediate relief for those who are in need.

Urbandweller203
Urbandweller203

They should  revamp the food stamp program to ensure the stamps are used to feed children and not traded for cigarettes and beer. Maybe a  drug test should be required before food stamps are handed out. There's enough vacant lots in Oakcliff to grow food fresh seasonal vegestables all year. I think a lot of churches are starting community gardens to help feed people. We need to look at new ways of feeding our childrens and the elderly. I planted a swiss chard plant in the spring of 2010 and it keeps coming back. The more I pick it the more it grows.  I figured if one plant serves my family, a case of  seeds could feed an entire community. A very informative article on child hunger that I was not aware of. 

Cheshyre
Cheshyre

Total assets held by the six biggest U.S. banks increased 39 percent to $9.5 trillion on Sept. 30, 2011, from $6.8 trillion on the same day in 2006, according to Fed data. For so few banks to hold so many assets is “un-American,” says Richard W. Fisher, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. “All of these gargantuan institutions are too big to regulate. I’m in favor of breaking them up and slimming them down.”

Employees at the six biggest banks made twice the average for all U.S. workers in 2010, based on Bureau of Labor Statistics hourly compensation cost data. The banks spent $146.3 billion on compensation in 2010, or an average of $126,342 per worker, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That’s up almost 20 percent from five years earlier compared with less than 15 percent for the average worker. Average pay at the banks in 2010 was about the same as in 2007, before the bailouts.

Stop destroying my hood!
Stop destroying my hood!

Perhaps we should teach people not to have children when they cannot afford to feed them or themselves.

(Yes, I know its not going to be in all cases and some people have fallen on hard times, but it would be interesting to see how many of these people actually had children when they cannot afford to have them financially)

Oak Cliff Townie
Oak Cliff Townie

We spend mega bucks on the problem .

I see a whole lot of Grocery carts filled with good wholesome food that have been filled by folks using the lone-star card .

We have a Chips system in Texas that  provides for the health care of those in need .

Seems we are providing for those in need and doing a heck of a job doing so.

The Help is there !   It might take some effort to get it .

I know action is being taken. 

http://dfw.cbslocal.com/2011/1...

This story has all the anecdotal (Hope I am using the right word ) information about the causes of POVERTY .

How much are we funding to really solve them ?

Chris Danger
Chris Danger

No child should go hungry, plain and simple. I think at the end of the day this is not only a challenge w/ the communties they're in due to the fact many grocery stores refuse to open in these neighborhoods because of safety and security issues, its also society as a whole has lost their common ethical barometer when it comes to actually behaving above their base instincts. When we begin treating our most vulnerable like second class citizens (aged, children, disabled), thats when you know society has a limited lifespan itsself.

trannyntraining
trannyntraining

The fact of the matter is: that no child(adult, also) should starve, ever! We have plenty of food in this country to feed everyone...life is difficult, but with four walls, a roof, and some food it's a bit easier to tackle the problems of the day! 

TruthSucksSometimes
TruthSucksSometimes

Food deserts exist because the grocery stores in those "neighborhoods" were robbed out of business by "the community".

3rd Wheel Marketing
3rd Wheel Marketing

They need to pull their 8-year-old asses up by their bootstraps... Oh, no shoes, well then they're hippies.

Robert Wilonsky
Robert Wilonsky

We are going to do our annual Unfair Park holiday auction, which, as always, will benefit the North Texas Food Bank. Trying to come up with those one-of-a-kind local items at this moment. I hope to begin the auction one week from today.

Bill Holston
Bill Holston

thank you Robert. That's a damn good question. What are we going to do about it. Is it really okay with us, that in this day and age, children go hungry? 

I don't have a complete answer formulated. But one thing, I'm going to do is target North Texas Food Bank in my end of year giving. 

I genuinely appreciate the fact Robert, that you post stories like this. I'd be happy to promote and participate in any project that the friends of UP have in mind for the holidays to benefit NTFB. 

Pat Boyack
Pat Boyack

You mean "education" regarding sex? What are you? A Socialist? Sex Education should be taught by TV ads and the old man's dirty mags. Like the good 'ol days.

MaryK
MaryK

Gosh, poor women used to be able to get an abortion when they needed it. Not any more.

Heckbaby0700
Heckbaby0700

The help is out there, but a family of 4 making a penny more than $22,350 does not qualify for help. Weekly that check is $430 before any taxes are taken out of it, so they are not even bringing home that much. My children go to the Pace after school program. I only have two children and they charge $90 per week. Take the taxes out of the pay check and that leaves approximately $254 left over every week. That is supposed to be ebough to pay for a home, utilites, groceries, gas to be able to get to work. It's not going to happen!! You would be lucky if that even covered the expenses of having a home, utitlities, and water.

Pat Boyack
Pat Boyack

Hey, Newt has the solution; Put those poor kids to work.

MaryK
MaryK

The primary idea of  "food desert" is that in your neighborhood you don't have anyplace to buy food except the convemience store down the street.  They take food stamps, of course, but do they sell healthy food? No, mostly junk.  But if you're a poor family without the transportation to get to the Brookshire's or Wal-Mart across town, you're stuck.  And the food stamps go fast buying junk. 

Now Trending

Dallas Concert Tickets

From the Vault

 

General

Loading...