Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Mayoral survey shows rising U.S. poverty

from Earthtimes

WASHINGTON, Dec. 17 The U.S. Conference of Mayors released a 23-city survey indicating a rise in the number of U.S. families requiring emergency food aid and shelter.

The survey showed 80 percent of the cities included had an average 12 percent increase in the number of families seeking food assistance and more than 70 percent had an increase in families seeking emergency shelter, USA Today reported Monday.

"We are heading in the wrong direction because of poverty, unemployment and housing costs," said Trenton Mayor Douglas Palmer, president of the mayor's conference.

Five of the 11 cities with date on homeless adults -- Louisville, Nashville, Philadelphia, Portland, Ore., and Seattle - showed a decline in the number seeking shelter, consistent with a federal report showing a 12 percent decline.

Alphonso Jackson, secretary of U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, said the federal numbers "show remarkable progress is being made."

A report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture released in November said 4 percent of households required food assistance since 2005.

The USDA report, however, noted a 26 percent increase in families requiring food assistance from 2001 to 2006, though these numbers did not include homeless adults.

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