Exceptional U.S. Tolerance of Poverty

Marian Wright Edelman | 6/13/2012, 1:25 p.m.

The family of five receives $583 a month in food stamps. They go to food pantries and raise tomatoes in pots but they often are down to peanut butter sandwiches at the end of the month and regularly eat filling, starchy foods such as rice, pasta, and potatoes.

Lucille is hoping her children will "do better" than she did. She has the idea that art might help them get ahead because they all have the family talent for it. "There's a lady who volunteers at the church, an artist," Lucille said. "She's going to help them make portfolios. Sarafina wants to present hers to the Columbus College of Art and Design." Lucille is still holding onto the American Dream for her children--but for now, the Lynches are living a much sadder American reality.

At the Children's Defense Fund National Conference in Cincinnati July 22-25, we will have a series of plenaries, mini-plenaries, and workshops focused on economic inequality and child poverty. Join us to learn more about what we know works to reduce poverty--and how we can work together to insist we do what works and set different national priorities. It's time to end child poverty in rich America.

Marian Wright Edelman is president of the Children's Defense Fund whose Leave No Child Behind mission is to ensure every child a Healthy Start, a Head Start, a Fair Start, a Safe Start and a Moral Start in life and successful passage to adulthood with the help of caring families and communities. For more information go to www.childrensdefense.org.