National Poverty Rate Climbs to Record 46 Million Americans

Homeless and needy people line up to receive bottles of cold water from a Salvation Army disaster relief truck in Kansas City, Missouri August 1, 2011. REUTERS/Dave Kaup

While the economic recession may have formally ended in June 2009, families across America are continuing their struggle to recover. The U.S. Census Bureau announced in a new report today that the portion of Americans living in poverty in 2010 climbed to 46.2 million people, representing 15.1 percent of the country at the highest level since 1993. That’s 1 in 6 people living below the poverty line of just $22,113 a year for a family of four.

The Salvation Army has witnessed this increased need first-hand while serving communities throughout the nation. We reported in our “Feeding the Need 2011” food survey earlier this year that 94 percent of Salvation Army food service programs saw an increase in demand for food assistance in 2010. In addition, nearly 60 percent of Salvation Army programs saw donations remain flat or decline from all funding sources, including government, public and private sectors. The Salvation Army in Auburn, CA, for instance, has said it may have to start turning those in need away if its resources continue to decline.

With record numbers of Americans living in poverty, it’s more important than ever to help those who are struggling to make ends meet. Donors and volunteers can learn more about supporting The Salvation Army by visiting – enter your ZIP code and contact your local program for volunteer opportunities in your area.

15 Comments on “National Poverty Rate Climbs to Record 46 Million Americans

  1. I don’t have money, but have time. How do I get started volunteering for disaster relief?

  2. myself and a group of friends would like to do some volunteer work with you guys, we are avaliable on saturdays, please contact me via email or call me at 9547735604 so i can get more information thanks.

  3. I would like to be part of the Salvation Army and I am in high school. I need a place that is close to me I live by Maine East. Zip code 60016. I would love to organize clothes and food, help if a disaster strikes, and anything. Please contact me on my email

  4. What direction or information can I give a homeless person on how to get off the streets and get help. Is there a program at the Salvation Army that deals with this directly.

  5. Pingback: » Blog Archive » Behind the Poverty Rate

  6. Hi Pat, we really appreciate that you’re willing to volunteer. Feel free to contact your local Salvation Army office and ask how you can help!

  7. Hi Edeline, so great to hear you and your friends want to help! Please visit our website at and search for your location by zip code. If you contact your local Salvation Army, they should be able to give you an idea as to what they need helped with. We appreciate your support!

  8. Hi Magda, thanks for being willing to help! Please visit our website at and search location by zip code. Contacting your local (or closest) Salvation Army location is the easiest way to offer your hand. We appreciate your support!

  9. Hi Trent, we do offer housing and homeless services. Check out website at and look under ‘Programs’.

    I would encourage anyone on the street to seek help through your local Salvation Army location. You can find your local office by searching by zip code on the home page (top right corner). I hope this helps. Thank you for your support.

  10. Hi Joan, we appreciate your willingness to volunteer. Contacting your local Salvation Army is the best way to help. Please visit our website at and search your location by zip code (upper right corner of home page) to find contact info. Thanks again for your interest!

  11. How do I help my son find a place to live, in a very expensive town? He has no more money for these big property management companies fee for credit check. He has no real credit or much of rental history and I can not co-sign or have money myself to support or do his start up. This is a very real reality for millions of the young out of high school and into their twenties. They have a minimal job or are at school so can’t afford much. This is robbery for most kids and the country says to save? Ha not when you don’t even make enough to put a roof over your head.

  12. Pingback: » Blog Archive » “Doing the Most Good” Because of Your Support!

  13. Hi Laura,

    Have you reached out to your local Salvation Army? That’s the best way to get answers and to find out if they have the resources that your son needs. You can access this info by visiting our website and typing in his zip code in the upper-right corner.

  14. I just couldn’t leave your web site prior to suggesting that I extremely loved tthe usual information an individual supply
    to your guests? Is going to be again steadily to investigate cross-check new

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>