American Girl: A Portrait of Poverty

By Sally Lee and Kate Lawler

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The Jacome Family
David Burnett

Early Risers

Savanna's family rents a small house in the rural town of Sand Gap. Jeff, 24, is a crew member at McDonald's, and his salary of $8.65 an hour must cover most of the family's expenses. The house isn't centrally heated, so the Gabbards rely on a woodstove to keep warm. "Day by day we get by, but we struggle," says Sherry, 26. She wakes up Savanna, 8, and William, 5, before dawn to get ready for school.

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