Georgians looking for help staying warm this winter are finding long lines and reduced budgets at assistance programs. Low-income residents can apply for federally-financed home heating through community organizations. Last month's cuts in food stamp benefits led to a record number of applicants for energy assistance.
New figures from the U.S. Census show poverty is rising in Albany’s Dougherty County faster than in any of the state’s largest counties. The county had the nation’s second-highest jump in poverty since 2007, and reflect trends throughout the state.
The number of Georgians living in poverty rose sharply during the Recession, according to census figures released Tuesday. Poverty is also on the rise nationally but the decline in median income is much steeper in Georgia.
Dwindling jobs and the lingering economic slowdown have led to a big jump in the number of Georgians on food stamps. US Agriculture Department officials say, there are now 1.8 million people receiving food stamps in the state, a 42% rise from two years ago. Those numbers leave out people eligible for but not using the benefit.
Georgia ranks in the bottom fifth of states nationwide for overall well being of its kids. The ranking of 42nd takes into account 10 key measures, including low infant birth rates and persistent poverty. The data comes from the annual Kids Count report, put-out by the Annie E. Casey Foundation.
Although Census poverty numbers won't be out until later this year, the Bureau's statistical surveys suggest officials won't be happy. After spending millions of dollars on anti-poverty programs, Savannah's three-decade-old 22% poverty rate could remain unchanged or increase, according to a Bureau statistical analysis. Officials already have answers.