Myth: America is a rich country and only non-Americans are truly poor.

  • 41 million people struggle with hunger in the United States, including 13 million children. In 2015, 5.4 million seniors struggled to afford enough to eat.
  • 3.2 million in the United Stated lived on less than $1.90 a day in 2013.

Myth: People who receive government benefits are living largely off the system.

  • Most poor people who avail themselves of a U.S. government safety net program are off benefits within three years.
  • More than $8 in $10 in Food Stamp (SNAP) benefits go to households that include a child, a senior, or person with a disability. These households make up 75% of all SNAP recipients.
  • The average Food Stamp (SNAP) benefit per person is about $126 per month, or $1.40 per meal.
  • The average welfare, or TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) benefit for a family of 3 with children is $432 per month. This payment is meant to cover all expenses, including rent.

Myth: People of color are more dependent on welfare services than anyone else

  • Whites without a college degree are the largest group of working-age adults benefiting from the government safety net. In one year, 6.2 million whites in this group were lifted above the poverty line by the safety net — more than any other racial or ethnic group.