Poverty rate highest since 1965; southeast Kentucky may be hardest hit

Economists are projecting the national poverty rate to climb to nearly 16 percent - the highest level since the 1960's.
So is southeastern Kentucky mirroring the national trend?
Charles Sanders with HELP (Helping Ease Life's Poverty) thinks it may be worse in the region.
"Around here the very needy can't get to where they're supposed to go," Sanders said. "They don't even have an automobile.They can't pay their insurance, they cant afford gas. And gas has got so expensive that they can't even take a minimum wage job because they can't afford to get to and from work for what they make"
HOPE officials estimate that they're doling out nearly 200 emergency boxes of food to impoverished families each month.
Ronda Coleman, a volunteer with HOPE, said,"Some of the people are not working because they are trained in one field and that would be coal mining or whatever supports coal mining. And, as coal mining goes, so goes Pike County and pretty much eastern Kentucky."
People below the poverty line made up 17.4 percent of Kentucky's population in 2010, according to the Lane Report.

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