US Child Poverty: never been to McDonald’s

McDonald’s can be a special treat-

Our May 29th event provided new insight to the situation of some foster kids. We were shocked to learn that some kids come from biological families that are so poor that they have never been to McDonald’s.

Our dear US readers (because you are reading this post on your smartphone,tablet or computer) might find this hard to believe. For a McDonald’s burger in the wealthy parts of the world is the cheapest cooked food you can buy.

In marketing terms, since only the affluent in poorer countries can buy a McDonald’s burger, the prices and experience is adjusted. Price is adjusted downward and the experience seems more exclusive.In these parts McDonald’s is marketed more as a premium experience than the commoner’s fast food. The Big Mac index of the Economist explains the very popular PPP (Purchasing Power Parity) concept.

It turns out that a foster parent might give the first chance to the foster child to have the special experience of going to McDonald’s. Yes the financial support (the stipend) that foster parents receive helps in creating these small pleasures. But to think that in the US there are many poor kids who cannot go to McDonald’s even rarely as a”special treat” is heartbreaking.

Child poverty in the US is a big topic and numerous good organizations are trying to make a dent in the problem. A great example is This year RedNoseDay was on May 27, 2021 just two days before our May 29 event. A YouTube video featuring Paul Rudd and Julia Roberts gives a sense of the broader challenge.

Johnisha Levi has a great article Addressing Child Poverty Beyond the Pandemic. Even after the massive Government stimulus, challenges will remain. We quote:

The Center on Social Policy at Columbia University has estimated that the American Rescue Plan will cut the child poverty rate by as much as 56% this year, which would affect children of all races. The poverty rate for Black, Hispanic, and Indigenous children, who are disproportionately affected by both poverty and COVID-19, would decline by 52%, 45% and 61% percent, respectively

Source: Johnisha Levi

Child poverty includes children from families that are functional and those that are not able to function. It is the latter that creates a foster child who needs care.

To think that a foster parent can directly make a difference, without spending their own money, is one more motivation for us at

We wish everyone a great Memorial Day Weekend!


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