Holiday Giving Counters Increasing Poverty Rate

9 years 1 day 9 hours ago Thursday, November 11 2010 Nov 11, 2010 Thursday, November 11, 2010 6:07:32 AM CST November 11, 2010 in News
COLUMBIA- The poverty rate in Boone County increased by three percent from 2007 to 2009 and this trend appears to be continuing as 2010 comes to an end.

According to Central Missouri Community Action, one in three children is on free and reduced lunch.

The Central and Northeast Missouri Food Bank had a record breaking month in August when 11,429 people received food, and numbers have remained similar.

In fact, last year, the need for food by Boone County residents was so great, the food bank moved to a new facility to keep up with demand.

Even with these dire circumstances, food bank workers have sen an influx of volunteers.

"One of the things I can always count on is God and people taking care of what we're trying to do," said executive director, Peggy Kirkpatrick.

And the holiday season is no exception.

Kirkpatrick said that 40-60 percent of donations come in the months of November and December.

With poverty and need on the rise in Boone County, outreach efforts like the food bank and CMCA want to make sure that people realize poverty can hit anyone.

"I think its important for the community to realize that poverty is not a dirty word, that poverty is not a social stigma that needs to be swept under the rug," said Angela Hirsch, community services director for CMCA.

Hirsch was optimistic about the upcoming season and the sense of community that exists in central Missouri.

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