An estimated 39.7 million Americans lived in poverty according to the official measure (Current Poverty Rate). Poverty has negatively affected people and their families. Sadly, anyone of any age race or culture can experience poverty. Unfortunately, as Jeannette Walls experiences living in poverty in her memoir, The Glass Castle, poverty can have a big impact on families living conditions and their children’s education. Poverty affects the family for when the parents dont have any job to bring in money for the rest of the family has no one to rely on for basic life needs including food, water, and shelter. Though Jeannette Wallsr’s family had no support to help them while they lived in poverty, tools are available to help families in poverty. There are many tools available to support poverty like Jeannetter’s family in The Glass Castle, including welfare services and food banks.
First, welfare services developed to help support families in poverty like Jeanetter’s family. In the article Welfare programs shown to reduce poverty in America produced by Jana Kasperkevic reports that without tax credits like the federal earned income tax credit, poverty for children under 18 would be 22.8% instead of the official poverty rate of 19.9% (Kasperkevic). With the help of tax credits, the rate of people in poverty has decreased. Tax credits like the federal earned income tax credit are a tax incentive that reduces the amount of money that people owe the government. With this help, people do not pay high amounts of money to the government but are able to pay low amounts that help support their financial struggles.
This is a major help to people in poverty for if they had to pay more money to the government in taxes they would lose all they have that help support their daily lives. This tax credit allows them to eliminate most or sometimes all the money that they owe. In Wallsr’s memoir, she states the although [they] were the poorest family on Little Hobart Street, Mom and Dad never applied for welfare or food stamps, and they always refused charity (Walls 159). Like a few people in poverty, Jeannette Wallsr’s family doesnt want help from the government to help support their family. This is not the best way to approach poverty though because without help from welfare services families are less likely to be able to overcome their financial struggles. In addition, neither parents of the family looked for a job they just learned to live with their lives as they were instead of trying to get help and change the way they live. With the help of welfare services, they would not have to run form the government each time they could not pay tax fines or be struggling for a job. Jeanette’s family could have also benefited from food banks in their quest to relieve themselves from their hunger.
Food banks were developed to help support families in poverty like Jeannetter’s family. In the article, Hunger in America states that Millions of people struggle to get by because of underemployment, stagnant wages and rising costs of living. In fact, more than 46 million people still turn to the Feeding America network each year for extra support (Hunger America). With the help of food banks, people can get the support they need to keep their families from starving. Food banks are widely known in America as locations where food is given out for free to families in need. These food banks are extremely important because they allow families to eat when they might have starved otherwise. With this help, people living in poverty dont have to worry about if they will have a meal that day or not. Food banks help people in poverty more than people would expect because they are allowing people to not have to worry about finding money to buy food but can keep saving and live better lives. In Wallsr’s memoir, she states Mom gave me a startled look. Id broken one of our unspoken rules: We were always supposed to pretend our life was one long and incredibly fun adventure (Walls 69).
Like a few people in poverty, Jeannette Wallsr’s family does not want to believe that they are in poverty and are having hard times they try to pretend that everything is okay and that their lives are great. Though the children are starving and there is nothing the parents can do because they do not have the money to pay for food. With food banks, families like Jeannetter’s family dont have to worry if family members are going to have food that day and parents dont have to feel guilty when their children ask them for something to eat and they have nothing to give them and no money to buy anything with. Jeannette Wallsr’s family had so many opportunities to have a better life it was just whether they were taking the chances they had been given.
In conclusion, there are many tools available to support poverty like Jeannette’s family in The Glass Castle, including welfare services and food banks. Welfare services offer a lot of support for people in poverty and help them on their path of recovering. Each type of Welfare service whether its public housing programs, tax debt relief or credit card settlement enables people to get the support they need to be able to maintain healthy lives. In addition, welfare services make it possible for families to be able to save the little money they make so that it can help them when they need it. Unfortunately, Jeanetter’s family refused to get support from the government and therefore they did not have funds to support their daily lives. Even though Jeannette’s family was able to save some money for food and shelter, without major tools they were not able to have enough money to support the family.
One of the major tools available for someone in poverty is a food bank. Food banks are extremely helpful to people in poverty for they make it possible for families to have something to eat when they would have starved otherwise. With the help of a food bank, Jeannetter’s family would have been able to have food for the whole family and the children would no longer have to find thrown away food at school to be able to eat. Sadly, the family’s mistrust of the government and not allowing themselves to be helped did not allow them to get the help they needed and the remained in poverty. Finally, though Jeannetter’s family never got help from the government, a hunger-free and financially supported life is possible, and there are many tools and supports that are available to help people in poverty live better and healthier lives.
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