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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