Bread for the World: Oregon
Oregon BFW is part of a nationwide Christian citizens movement seeking justice for the world's hungry people by lobbying our nation's decision makers.           Contact Me          Visit National Website

Mini Hunger Course

Social Causes of Hunger

  • There are three main social factors that affect hunger:

    • Family Stresses
    • Education
    • Discrimination

    Family Stresses

    The family is the primary social instutuion of any society. It plays a key role in producing a positive self image in children. Encouraging and helping them with education and other challenges, getting them prepared and eager to make a contribution. Without a stong family children can grow up in an environment of despair and hopelessness. Which can lead directly into poverty.

    Family Economic Stresses
    Economic hardship can be a major stress on a family, threatening to tear it apart.
    Real wages have been declining for the past 20 years, so that even having a job may be insufficient to get a family out of poverty:

    • A full time minimun wage job provides around $12,000 a year, this is not enough to lift a family of 4 out of poverty.
    • 2/3 of poor families have at least one working member (usually part time/part year)

    Health Care
    Many workers are not covered, their children are at risk.

    Child Care
    A vital need but can be beyond the reach of many poor families.

    Single parent families
    Difficult for one person to balance the needs of income earning and child rearing by themselves. Children raised in single parent household are more likely to be poor and remain poor when they grow up. Child support enforcement, child care, and health care are vital needs for these families.

    In the past the family was an economic benefit (needed workers for the farm), today it is an economic cost. If we continue to devalue, neglect, and increasingly make it an economic hardship. We will undermine our most important social institution.