The US is becoming a third world country, with millions hungry and homeless while wasting the US money (50% of the US budget) to maintain the army and bases around the world. All American citizens should revolt against this!
Hunger is driving desperate US teenagers as young as 13 to search for ways to feed themselves and their families, with many resorting to crime or providing sexual favors in exchange for food and basic supplies, according to a study published Monday.
Researchers from the Urban Institute, a Washington-based economic and social policy research group, paired up with Feeding America – a US network of food banks – in an attempt to find out “how food insecurity affects teenagers.”
They created two focus groups – one male, one female – in the 10 poorest communities across the States, including those in major cities such as Chicago and Los Angeles, as well as in some rural towns. Researchers interviewed 193 boys and girls aged 13 to 18, all anonymously, over the course of three years – and were deeply concerned at the results.
“What emerged was a portrait of impossible choices imposed upon teenagers who are forced to transition into adulthood much too quickly,” the report states.
“When faced with severe food insecurity, teens can begin to feel the weight of adult responsibilities. But like their parents, teenagers [from low-income communities] have limited jobs available to them within their communities. It’s in these moments of need when some teens make the choice to help their families stock the pantry by earning money outside of the legal economy.”
Teens at all the 10 study locations told researchers numerous stories of how they themselves or some of their peers had committed minor crimes such as shoplifting, or more serious offenses such as selling drugs, in order to put food on the table. Many described “selling their body” or “sex for money” as a way to get something to eat.
“Often this takes the form of ‘transactional dating,’ meaning a teen regularly sees and has sex with someone, often a significantly older man, in exchange for meals, material goods, or cash,” researchers found.
“You’re not even dating,” a girl in Portland, Oregon, is cited by the report as saying. “They’ll be like, ‘I don’t really love him, but I’m going to do what I have to do.’”
A boy in rural North Carolina also described the strategy, saying: “When you’re selling your body, it’s more in disguise. Like if I had sex with you, you have to buy me dinner tonight… that’s how girls deal with the struggle… That’s better than taking money because if they take money, they will be labeled a prostitute.”