Child poverty has reached record levels with over 16 million children affected. One in 13 Americans are jobless, and many children are growing up with little hope for their future.
For Poor Kids, which premieres next Tuesday on PBS, FRONTLINE spent months following six children who are growing up against the backdrop of their families’ struggles against financial ruin. Filmmaker Jezza Neuman traveled to the Quad Cities, a great American crossroads along the border of Iowa and Illinois, to explore the lives of children living in the suburbs of the nation’s heartland. We asked the children what being poor in America really looks like through their eyes.
“I was surprised by how things can change so fast,” says 14-year-old Roger, one of the children profiled in the film. “You can go from doing OK, not having to go hungry, to this: going hungry and having to pay all your bills and not being able to [buy food], on the verge of being homeless again.”