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People who lack the economic resources that are needed to have a minimal standard of living are considered in poverty. The rate of poverty in the United States, and in many other countries throughout the world, has increased over recent years.

In fact, it is estimated that more than 650 million people all over the globe live in extreme poverty, meaning that they live on less than about $2 per day. Of course, this lies in deep contrast to the wealth in many other families throughout the world.

War on Poverty Day is meant to bring attention to and raise awareness for this continued problem and how it is possible to help.

History of War on Poverty Day

When Lyndon B. Johnson unofficially introduced the War on Poverty in his State of the Union address on January 8, 1964, the national poverty level of the United States was at a whopping 19%. After this speech, the Economic Poverty Act was passed which led to actions that were meant to reduce the poverty levels and improve the living conditions of low-income neighborhoods across the nation.

The following years led to a few different bipartisan initiatives and programs in the US. These included legal services, Head Start, VISTA (Americorps), and Job Corps. The efforts were meant to meet social, emotional, health, nutritional, and psychological needs to bring people out of poverty.

Now, each year on this same date, War on Poverty Day is celebrated as a reminder of the importance of regularly committing to working toward eradicating poverty across the US as well as all over the world.

While the programs that were implemented decades ago may not hold all of the solutions to the complicated problems of poverty, it is still important that people continue to work toward solutions for current and future generations.

Paying attention to and celebrating War on Poverty Day is a time for social action – a time to work toward helping make the world a better place for everyone to live. It’s time for War on Poverty Day!

How to Celebrate War on Poverty Day

Observing War on Poverty Day means learning a bit more about the needs of others and aiming to work together in unity to bring balance to a world in need. Consider some of these ideas for how to celebrate this day:

Make a Donation to a Charitable Organization

One great way to help out might be to join with others in taking action against poverty by making a donation. Making a donation to a local charity, such as a food bank or low-income education program in the area is a great idea. For those who prefer to give to a more well-known endeavor, consider making a donation to one of these groups that are doing good:

  • World Food Program USA. The United Nations World Food Program (WFP) delivers food to the most at-risk families and children, especially those in schools or during emergencies so that children never need to go to bed hungry. 
  • World Vision. This is a Christian organization that has been helping children all over the world for more than 70 years, working to lift people and communities out of poverty. 
  • End Child Poverty US. Child poverty continues to be a long term problem in the United States that really needs a long term solution. The organization works to elevate the voices of the people across the country who can address these concerns. 
  • Institute for Research on Poverty (IRP). This group is dedicated to performing the underlying research that is necessary to better understand the problems so that they can be solved. It’s an important part of putting the pieces together to make long term solutions. 

Volunteer to Help

Get connected with a local organization that helps others by volunteering. Whether it is helping out at a homeless shelter or tutoring underprivileged children in reading, each charity will have different roles they need filled.

Most charitable organizations are always looking for volunteers to help them with the tasks they need accomplished. This might mean volunteering to help educate children, sorting donations at a local food bank, advocating for the rights of those who can’t help themselves, or making a difference by raising awareness and funds for those in need. Contact a local anti-poverty charity to find out more about how to volunteer.

Learn More About Poverty

Although poverty is a problem that has been part of humanity and society for thousands of years, the solutions are complicated and not easy to find. The war on poverty is about more than simply giving money or food to those who are in need. It extends further into needs such as education, health care, empowerment, clean water and more.

War on Poverty Day is a great time to start learning about the different types of poverty and how they can best be addressed. Learn more by doing online research through various charitable organizations.

Consider some of these types of poverty while getting informed:

  • Situational Poverty

    This is the type that happens due to difficult circumstances such as job loss, health crisis or divorce. It may often be solved through a support network that can provide access to resources temporarily until the person can get back on their feet.

  • Generational Poverty

    When a family has been living in poverty for two or more generations, this means that certain thought processes are ingrained, such as survival instinct instead of thinking toward the future.

  • Absolute Poverty

    This is defined as the absolute lack of resources, including food insecurity. Among developing nations, the US has one of the highest rates of food insecurity, also including lack of healthcare as well as homelessness.

  • Urban Poverty and Rural Poverty

    These two are related to where the people in poverty are living. They are often trapped in a living situation that does not allow them access to the jobs, transportation or other resources they need to live a full life above the poverty level.

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