Guest Editorial

January is Poverty Awareness Month

 

Guest editorial

By Marie Atkinson Smeins.

Luverne, on behalf of #Luv1LuvAll

Did you know?

•The percentage of people in Rock County who are currently living at or below the federal poverty guidelines is 920.

•A single adult wage earner with two children needs to make $53,832 annually to meet the basic-needs cost of living in Rock County.

•During the 2016-17 school year, the percentage of children in Rock County who qualified for free and reduced lunch was 30.3 percent.

•The median income in Rock County is $55,462.

•The percentage of Rock County residents who are paying 30 percent or more of their income for housing is 17 percent.

During the 2017-18 school year the Blandin Foundation Leaders Partnering to End Poverty (LPEP) trainers came to Luverne once a month to educate us on the definition of poverty. 

We listened to educational speaker Jodi Pfarr. She shared her life experience to educate us on poverty and its effects.

There were community conversations events, a poverty dinner theater, and in the spring of 2018 nearly 100 of us participated in a poverty simulation to get a glimpse of what a month in poverty might be like. These events were great experiences for everyone involved.

As a result of the Blandin Foundation's Leaders Partnering to End Poverty training, #Luv1LuvAll emerged in June of 2018.

This organization is addressing six key issues within our community (brain health, access to affordable and safe housing, access to oral health, access to food resources for senior citizens, access and a central location for available resources, and access to health care).  

#Luv1LuvAll meets bi-monthly. Our next meeting will be Tuesday, March 19, at 8 a.m. in the Human Services Building.  Anyone interested is invited to attend these meetings and to follow us on Facebook.

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