January 2017: Basic Human Needs

January is Basic Needs Month. Of coursebasic-needs it’s easy to understand what “basic needs” are: the fundamental requirements that serve as the foundation for survival…clean water, shelter, clothing, food, medical care. Everyone reading this article probably takes most of these things for granted. Think about it: are you ever hungry for more than an hour? Do you go thirsty longer than it takes to get to the refrigerator or faucet? And if you’re cold, you turn up the heat in your house or car or grab your new North Face jacket!

In America alone, the things you and I take for granted are not automatic for millions of others. A recent report detailed the “Basic Economy Security Tables” which were developed by Washington University. Would you be shocked to learn that 45% of the country, yes, nearly half of the U.S., is unable to afford many of the basic needs? Before the economic crisis began in 2007, 38% of America’s families were economically insecure. Even though we have been in recovery for five years now, poverty (and access to basic needs) has continued to climb and is still “stubbornly high”…that 45% figure…(according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau).

Two more grim facts: 1 in 5 Americans reported in August 2013 (latest data available) that they did not have enough money to buy the food they or their family needed (Gallup.com). And since 2008, the share of U.S. children living in poverty has increased by 2 percentage points. Overall, 24.2 million children were living in poverty last year.

The Foundation has chosen January as Basic Needs Month so that we can help those who most need helpthose in poverty, including the millions of children who don’t know what a full belly feels like. And we’re funding organizations that help with the other basic needs.

CLICK HERE for the listing or organizations that were impacted by Foundation funds.