Child Poverty in the United States
Roughly 1 in 5 children in the United States are poor—they live in families whose income falls below the federal poverty threshold. That’s 15,000,000 kids—a number greater than the entire population of Washington state and Arizona combined! Even worse is the number of children living in low-income families, which is now 41%.
Researchers know that the effects of growing up in poverty can reverberate throughout a child’s lifetime: behavioral problems, low self-esteem, decreased educational readiness, and an increased risk of school dropout. When children experience chronic stress associated with living in poverty, their ability to concentrate, remember and learn are adversely affected. These hurdles are placed in front of children who have absolutely no control over their personal circumstances.
Shoes are one of the most expensive items that families have to purchase for their children. It’s no wonder that when families have to decide whether to put dinner on the table, or buy a new pair of shoes, the choice is clear. But shoes are required to attend school, and too many children miss school altogether or can’t fully participate because they have shoes that are inappropriate, don’t fit, or are completely worn out, leading to pain, shame and embarrassment. Shoes That Fit tackles one of the most visible signs of poverty in America by giving children in need new athletic shoes to attend school with dignity and joy, prepared to learn, play and thrive.