FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Nicole Aber, 646-627-7741
CAMPAIGN FACT SHEET
Nevada and South Carolina Poverty, Hunger Widespread
Middle Class Endangered in Both States
Ahead of the nominating contests in Nevada and South Carolina, the national nonprofit organization Hunger Free America is shedding light on a number of statistics showing that in both states, poverty and hunger are rampant and economic opportunity is declining.
Joel Berg, CEO of Hunger Free America, said: “It is widely known that South Carolina has a higher poverty rate and a lower median income than the nation as a whole. But poverty is so endemic in America that, even in a state like Nevada – with relatively less impoverishment than many other states – the problem is still vast. In both states, median family income is low, and the middle class in endangered.”
- In the 2016 Nevada Democratic Caucuses, 23 percent of voters had household incomes below $30,000 per year, and 47 percent had incomes below $50,000 per year. In the 2016 South Carolina Democratic Primary, 33 percent of voters had household incomes below $30,000 per year, and 61 percent had incomes below $50,000 per year.
- The minimum wage in Nevada for covered workers is $8.25 per hour; someone working full-time (35 hours per week) each week for a year would earn $15,015 annually. The minimum wage in South Carolina for covered workers is $7.25 per hour; someone working full-time (35 hours per week) each week for a year would earn $13,195 annually. Poverty incomes would be well below the meager federal poverty threshold of $21,330 per year.
- According to USDA, 12.9 percent of people in Nevada and 11 percent in South Carolina live in food insecure households, unable to consistently afford an adequate supply of food.
- Hunger Free America published the 2019 United States Hunger Atlas, which breaks down state-by-state food insecurity data for working adults, children, and older Americans. In Nevada, more than 140,000 children — representing one in five (20.2 percent) of the state’s children — live in food insecure homes. More than 163,000 working adults — representing one in ten (11.6 percent) of working people in the state — are food insecure. More than 55,000 Nevada older residents — representing 8.6 percent of the state’s residents aged 60 years and up — live in food insecure homes. In South Carolina, more than 130,000 children — representing one in ten children (11.8 percent) — live in food insecure homes. More than 162,000 working adults — representing one in twelve (7.3 percent) of working adults in the state — are food insecure. More than 112,000 South Carolina older residents — representing one in ten (9.3 percent) of the state’s residents aged 60 years and up — live in food insecure homes.
- According to the Census Bureau, 12.9 percent of Nevada residents live in poverty, and the per capita income is only $29,161. 15.3 percent of South Carolina residents live in poverty, and the state’s per capita income is only $27,986.
- According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the poverty rate is 15.8 percent in Las Vegas, Nevada and 22.5 percent in Columbia, South Carolina. The greatest poverty in both states, however, is in rural counties: 21.1 percent in Mineral County, Nevada, and 37.3 percent in Allendale County, South Carolina.
To read the presidential candidates’ plans to address poverty, hunger, and economic opportunity, go to the Action for Opportunity website. Action for Opportunity — of which Hunger Free America and A Place at the Table are co-leaders and the Worcester County Food Bank is a major sponsor — is a coalition of more than 30 nonprofits, unions, and advocates calling on the presidential candidates to detail their policies for decreasing poverty and increasing economic opportunity. To interview Hunger Free America CEO Joel Berg about these issues, contact Nicole Aber, Naber@hungerfreeamerica.org, 646-627-7741.