New poverty trends in the Panhandle - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

New poverty trends in the Panhandle

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More people in our area are needing help as the national poverty line is creeping up on them.

Local organizations say they have seen that number steadily increasing and don't see it coming down any time soon.

Four out of 5 Americans at some point in their lives have lived in poverty or have needed assistance to stay afloat, according to the Associate Press.

Anette Carlisle, the Director of Panhandle 20/20 told us the increasing cost of living has taken it's toll on many people. "It really takes about twice the poverty level to get by so we really have about half of our citizens and 2/3 of our families with children who can't get by."

She says in Potter County, according to the 2000 census, 1 in 10 individuals lived below the poverty level, now it's 1 in 4. "Too big of a percentage of our people are in poverty and we've got to help," Carlisle added.

One group that is helping along with Panhandle 20/20 is the Cornerstone Outreach Center. "We fed 233 families, we didn't have enough chairs," said Kaye Cross, who works with the Cornerstone Outreach Center. "Our average used to be around 150 families a week. Now it's well, it's usually over 200, every week," Cross added.

She says they have noticed an increase of people needing assistance. But, they say those coming in aren't their typical clients. "People that have jobs coming in and needing that extra groceries. Or even a husband and wife coming in together and they both have enough but it's not enough to meet the needs of their families,"Cross said.

Colleen Nelson - NewsChannel 10.