Like nations throughout the world, America has many who continue to be challenged by poverty. And so each year, January marks a time to shed light onto the issue with National Poverty in America Awareness Month. As a company committed to supporting the needs of the communities we serve, especially its children, we wanted to take some time this week to share a little about what’s known about poverty in our country and why we believe it's important to do our part.
Historically, poverty rates were at their highest in the U.S. before the early 1960s—almost a quarter of population was in need. That’s when the nation banded together with programs to help alleviate some of the financial struggles Americans were facing. And it helped, but it wasn’t a total fix for the issue. Since then, the number has fluctuated between 11% and 15% nationally on average. And the numbers are higher when we consider children.
Today, almost 17% of the children in America are living at or below the poverty line, according to the most recent figures from the U.S. Census Bureau—that’s millions of kids who often don’t have access to basic needs. This number varies by state and seems to rise in much of the Southeast. In Georgia, for example, that number is between 18% and 21.9%. And it can be even higher when we look at specific areas. Several metropolitan regions in this state report in at 24 percent or higher.
Apart from the challenges poverty creates for children in their day-to-day lives, research shows it can also create long-lasting effects on health and happiness that follows them into adulthood. That’s why Gas South is committed to giving 5% of profits to help support children in need. It’s part of how we strive to Be A Fuel For Good—and we’re thankful to each customer who is automatically part of this.
In 2022, we gave more than $3.2 million to this effort—a figure that brings us to more than $12 million since we started. From providing basic needs and educational resources to helping with childhood illness and disability, we want to make a difference. And we know helping children is one of the best ways to do that. They’re the future of this world, and we’re committed to doing our part to give them every opportunity to lead happy, successful lives.
If you’re looking for ways to make a difference during National Poverty in America Awareness Month, consider donating your time or money to one of the handful of great organizations below we were able to help support in 2022.
Stay tuned to our blog and social media posts as we continue to support this worthy cause in the many months and years ahead.