Appalachian Poverty Rate Report Released

By: Marie Luby Email
By: Marie Luby Email

U.S. Census Bureau numbers released Tuesday show the percent of Americans living in poverty didn't budge last year.

However, more Appalachians are facing tougher economic times.

WYMT’s Marie Luby saw it first hand in Perry County.

“During the last of the month, it gets pretty bare,” Hattie Turner said.

Hattie Turner isn't alone.

More than 13 million other people in Appalachia struggled to keep food in their pantries last year.

She and four other people are living on this until next month.

“I'll make about four meals out of it. We just manage with vegetables and stuff from then on,” Turner said.

Kentucky's poverty rate is now the fifth highest in the country.

The state ranks 48th in median household income.

Experts we talked to predict even worse outcomes after this year.

“It was pretty warm this summer but we've had warmer summers and we have really seen a spike early in requests for energy assistance,” Rick Baker, L.K.L.P.

The silver lining, if there is any, is that reports like this one send more help from the government to families like the Turners.

Experts say that still doesn't offer a solution and some expect poverty to take center stage in November.
“I think after today you'll see a huge focus on poverty in the U.S. this election,” Baker said.

“I don't think the government really cares about us poor people,” Turner said.

Hattie Turner says she isn't holding her breath.

For the complete report

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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by George Location: Harlan on Aug 27, 2008 at 01:01 PM
    Got a good mule for sale.
  • by Deloris Location: jenkins on Aug 27, 2008 at 12:59 PM
    Vote for McCain and maybe he will donate one of his 7 homes to help out. LOL
  • by suzanne Location: ky aka florida on Aug 27, 2008 at 12:14 PM
    the reason ky is in the shape it is in,,,the drugs have taken over not only the area but the people as well, there brains are fried and do not know there is a different world out there,,,,ky is a 3rd world nation,,anyone with any brains gets out of ky and finds a whole different world,,,,the ones with the fried brains stay and continue generation after generation on welfare,,,lets get the people of ky off welfare, cell phones and 4 wheelers,and create better paying jobs period, i got smart and moved....
  • by D Location: johnson county on Aug 27, 2008 at 09:40 AM
    I agree with all the posts so far. I have lived in KY for approx 3 years now. this is a very poor area. I did not even know what the "first of the Month" meant and why so many people were out around the 1st of the month till I started asking. it appears that east ky has not advanced any in the last 50 years as far as the economy. this is a pretty area and wish things would get better with all the poverty, fraud,theifs,sewage and drugs.
  • by y2k Location: easternky on Aug 27, 2008 at 08:57 AM
    I am the working poor.
  • by terri Location: east KY on Aug 27, 2008 at 04:40 AM
    Keep voting republican and it will get worse, did you ever wonder why we never learn?
  • by Michel Location: Pikeville on Aug 26, 2008 at 09:23 PM
    An increasing breakdown of the welfare system exists in KY. It is too easy for couples to lie about marital status & living arrangements to obtain benefits which rob the families who work every day and struggle to make ends meet. The system should help those who help themselves and the elderly that have worked their entire lives to retire into poverty. It's a shame that children are receiving disability benefits before they even have the chance to work. It has become generational welfare; playing the system is more rewarding than working. Those working endure so much physical damage to continue working can only look forward to a crippling retirement while the young, strong individuals suck up the funding and medical benefits. KY has become the Welfare State. Our teachers are not only trying to educate the children, but also trying to raise them with no assistance from parents who spend their time in Walmart or parties that consume quality time that should be spent with the children
  • by William Location: SeKy on Aug 26, 2008 at 03:40 PM
    What I don't understand is this,almost 40 county's some for over 100 have sent out millions of tons of coal central Kentucky and south east Ky could almost rival the middle east in coal exports you see coal it grounded in to powder and burnt to make steam to turn generators to make electric y to keep homes and business warm in winter and cool in the summer, does the coal in south east Kentucky belong to California? New York? Atlanta, When did the major city's in the United States get the right strip mine shaft mine and take all the coal and leave the people of Kentucky in trailer parks, with poor health care,who made the laws to rob Kentucky? and turn seky in to the poverty stricken area it has become? who is getting the billions of dollars that Ky coal provides ? while people he beg for food and get laws made to keep them poor, someone somewhere dont want the people of Ky to understand what has been happening to them for over 100 years and even now in 2008 still is.


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