Poverty is an issue that’s been plaguing the United States for decades

The late evening news on KEVN Black Hills Fox Monday-Friday
Published: Feb. 8, 2023 at 7:19 PM MST
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) -Poverty can be defined as not making enough income for basic needs such as food, shelter, or clothing.

According to the census between 2009 to 2011 and 2019 to 2021 the poverty rate fell 3.6 percent nationally.

South Dakota has improved but only slightly. The state is still in the 10 to 19.9 percent range which is the same as it was 10 years ago.

According to world population review, 49% of Native Americans live in poverty in South Dakota which is the highest in the country.

“This is just hard times for a lot of families, but this is something that people have to deal with right now. Again, a lot of people in our community are facing those choices of do I pay rent right now or do I buy healthy groceries for my family, and that’s not a new problem, but it’s definitely an increasing problem,” said Kimberly Wallace, Western Volunteer Director, Feeding South Dakota.

When measuring poverty rates, the census looks at different factors of income before taxes. Some of these include unemployment compensation, earnings, and social security.

Feeding South Dakota said that although poverty is an issue in the state, they are thankful for their volunteers and the donations they receive. One act of help makes a big impact in making sure food gets out to the community.

“Whether it’s donating a can of food to us, or giving away your old coat or any other need you can think of, that little, small act really is making a huge difference,” said Wallace

No states experienced an increase in their poverty rate, but it is still an ongoing problem across the nation.

The top five states with the highest poverty rates are: Mississippi, Louisiana, New Mexico, Kentucky, and Arkansas.