Local non-profits tackling hunger and poverty head-on12/16/11 Lisa Marzilli, Beth Bell
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On today's Last all we discussed the obscene rise in hunger and poverty not only nationally but right here in our backyard. A report issued by the US Census Bureau shows about 49.9 million Americans, roughly 13.8 percent of the U.S. population living below the poverty line and another 53.8 million are considered low income.
Last week the St. Petersburg Times reported on a free food giveaway outside the Beaming Hope Church that was expected to last a couple of hours and draw about 500 people - instead it drew over 1900 and finished just before dark. The good news is, no one was turned away. Another disturbing story in The Lakeland Ledger highlighted a charity group that is working with Polk County school officials to send food home in the back packs of elementary school students so they wouldn’t go hungry over the weekend. Polk County is 3rd in the nation when it comes to food insecurity, meaning that 1 in 3 families don’t know where their next meal is coming from.
We were joined in the studio by Tim Marks, President and Chief Operating Officer with Metropolitan Ministries and Debbi McCarthy, Developement Director with Feeding America Tampa Bay, formerly known as Second Harvest.