Columbus organization sheds light on local poverty

Columbus organization sheds light on local poverty

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Could you survive off only $4.50 worth of food a day? Thousands of Columbus families are doing just that, and one local organization is working to bring awareness to poverty by challenging you to spend a week below the poverty line.

Millions of Americans work a full-time job to support their families, yet many are struggling to make ends meet.

In 2013, 45.3 million people lived in poverty, about 14.5 percent of the population. Nineteen percent of Georgians are living below the poverty line, and most are children of single-parent homes. In the Fountain City, stats show almost 48,000 people are living in poverty.

"Our poverty rate in Columbus is slightly higher than the rate in the state," said Meg Olive, coordinator for Circles in Columbus. "It's near 20 percent."

In Muscogee County, 48,000 people are living below the federal poverty line. For example, government regulations state a family of four bringing in less than about $24,000 a year is below the poverty line.

Circles in Columbus is working to bring awareness to the issue by hosting the second annual Poverty Awareness Week and challenging you to take a few steps down.

"We're challenging community members to take the SNAP challenge and spend only $1.50 a meal," Olive explained.

The group is also challenging people to use public transportation for a week.

The first event was held Thursday, Oct. 16 at the Open Door Community House on 2nd Avenue.

for more information and learn how you can participate.

Copyright 2014 WTVM. All rights reserved.