poverty

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A new study by the United Way says 31-percent of Iowa households are struggling to afford their basic needs.

The finding is part of a United Way-sponsored ALICE report. It stands for Asset-Limited, Income-Constrained, Employed.

The report says 12-percent of Iowans live in poverty and 19-percent cannot afford the basic cost of living in their areas, forcing them to make concessions in areas like food and health care.

Deann Cook of the United Ways of Iowa says many of those struggling are in service sector jobs.

Payton Chung, Flickr / Wikimedia Commons

When filmmaker Ronit Bezalel first arrived in Chicago as a film student in 1994, all she knew about Cabrini Green was its reputation. "I could see Cabrini from the windows of the 'L,' and people told me to avoid it at all costs. I wanted to know why I couldn't go there."

A coalition of advocacy groups for children is urging presidential candidates to address issues of poverty in early childhood, especially among kids of color. 

A report from the philanthropic Annie E. Casey Foundation shows half of the nation’s children younger than five are either African-American or Hispanic.

In Iowa, it’s around 17 percent.

Advocates for children of color say many of these kids are living in poverty, and yet policymakers and presidential candidates are ignoring the problem.