Three maps which depict the distribution of families who live in the “food assistance gap” — between 130% and 185% of poverty — were added recently.
They can be found in the “Eastern Illinois Foodbank” menu, on the “Food Assistance Gap” page.
They can be viewed by clicking on this link.
In mid-December 2014, the U.S. Census Bureau released its latest official estimates of social and economic indicators for every geographic region for the calendar year 2013. Such an undertaking is by necessity always a year behind, but nonetheless provides vital information regarding the wellbeing of communities across the nation.
For four years now, I have used these estimates in my research to measure the incidence of poverty and food insecurity in Coles County, as well as a fourteen county region serviced by the Eastern Illinois Food Bank in which Coles County is served. Each year when I collect and analyze these data, I am initially hopefully that the estimates of the level of impoverishment and risk for hunger will abate from the previous year; but this year, like the previous, this is not fully the case.
Current estimates show that 22 percent, over 1 in 5, of the current population of Coles County is officially poor, earning an annual income below the federal threshold of $11,490 for an individual; this depends on the composition of a person’s family so, for example, a family of four has a poverty threshold of $23,550 annually. This percentage has remained unchanged from the previous estimates, which is a relative bright spot in an otherwise concerning collection of data.
13 percent of all families, and 22.5 percent of families with children under the age of eighteen are officially poor, and each of these marginally increased by roughly one percentage point from previous estimates.
However, while the incidence of poverty remained relatively flat, the more concerning trend is in the percent of individuals and families at-risk of food insecurity—the limited or uncertain availability of nutritionally adequate and safe foods or limited or uncertain ability to acquire acceptable foods in socially accepted ways. More basic, it is the increased risk of not knowing from where your next meal may come, and if so, that it is nutritionally adequate. The annual income for this level of risk, used widely in practice and research, is above that of official poverty, at 185 percent of a poverty income for an individual or family (1.85 times the annual income used in the federal poverty threshold).
The most recent estimates show that 42.5 percent, well over 2 in 5 individuals are at-risk, 31.1 percent of all families are insecure, and 46.5 percent of all families with children under the age of eighteen are challenged daily to have adequate meals. Each of these increased multiple percentage points from the previous year, and of most concern are families with children.
CHARLESTON — One in five Coles County citizens lives in poverty.
That 2012 statistic, 22.9 percent, is striking when compared to 2003, when 13.2 percent, a little more than one in 10 Coles County citizens, were impoverished. And compare that 2012 statistic to percentages across the state (14.7 percent) and the nation (15.9 percent).
The problems don’t end for individuals or families just because they’re a little higher than the absolute poverty line, Eastern Illinois University professor Michael Gillespie said. During November, National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Month, Gillespie has given a series of lectures focused on poverty; he gave his last one, concerning how to help alleviate poverty in the county, Tuesday afternoon.
Read the entire article here: Professor talks poverty during Hunger Awareness Month
Here’s one thing that you do as a mathematician a lot: change the assumptions and see how wildly the conclusions change. You usually start with lots of assumptions, and then see how things change when they are taken away one by one: what if the ring isn’t commutative? What if it doesn’t have a “1”?
Of course, it’s easy enough to believe that we can no longer prove the same theorems when we don’t start with the same kinds of mathematical set-ups. But this kind of thing can also apply to non-mathematical scenarios as well.
So, for example, I’ve long thought that the “marshmallow” experiment is nearly universally misunderstood: kids wait for the marshmallow for exactly as long as it makes sense to them to wait. If they’ve been brought up in an environment where delayed gratification pays off, and where the rules don’t change in the meantime, and where they…
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