The High Cost of Being Poor (cont.)
Those living in poorer neighborhoods tend to spend more on groceries, as they are more apt to shop at local delis and convenience stores, which are easier to get to, but which are generally more expensive as these shops generally don’t buy in bulk the way supermarkets do.
To compensate for higher grocery prices, people often select lower quality foods – such as processed and fast foods – which also impact health. Luckily, many farmers’ markets are addressing the problem of people in poorer urban areas not having access to fresh fruit and vegetables as locally grown produce is being brought to many urban areas nationwide, and many states are allowing those whose incomes are subsidized to pay for produce and food at famers’ markets with food stamps.
When poor people who are working get sick, they often do not get paid leave. In recent years, strides have been made with companies like Chipotle offering paid sick leave.
Beyond ongoing financial hardship and stress, those living in poverty suffer in other ways. When it comes to housing, less expensive options tend to be in neighborhoods with higher crime rates. Then, those who aren’t able to live in affordable housing (many states have long waiting lists), are facing rents that have been escalating.
In 2016, the national average rent on apartments increased by 4% year-over-year, reaching $1,210 per month, according to the real estate source, Yardi Matrix. U.S. Census data reveals that 59% of American households with annual incomes of less than $20,000 spend more than half of their income on rent.