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Poverty Rate in Illinois on the Rise
Nearly 2 million people in Illinois are currently living in poverty, and another 2 million are considered low-income, according to a new report.
The growing number of those who need help rely on places like the St. John's Breadline to help them get by in these tough economic times.
Every day, the line to get a warm meal at the St. John's Breadline is getting longer and longer. Supervisor Kevin Kindred said the number of local residents who need assistance is increasing, and a big reason is because of the poor economy.
"We've got a lot of individuals that are out of work right now, so they have come here to eat and talk among themselves to try and get different avenues of ways to work," Kindred said.
St. John's Breadline serves nearly 500 people a day, and now, they are starting to reach even higher numbers of feeding almost 600 people. This includes Springfield resident Danielle Keith and her mom, who have been eating at the Breadline every day for the past few weeks and said it grows more crowded every day.
"There's been a lot of people coming for the past couple of weeks and it's been packed," Keith said. "Like normally, you can't sit nowhere. I'm surprised it died down today because normally there are a lot of people up here all the way from up there to in here."
Both Danielle and her mom said they are just getting by and are happy that places like the breadline can help them during these tough economic times.
One of the major organizations that is helping out in times of need is the United Way of Central Illinois. The group funnels thousands of dollars to a variety of local service agencies in the hopes of helping area residents make ends meet.
"One of our biggest partners being the Central Illinois Food Bank, Catholic Charities, The Urban League, those programs are very important because we are committed to that essential service side as well as the education initiative we support in the community," United Way President John Kelker said.
According to a report, there are over 30,000 people in poverty in Sangamon County, which is up nearly 3 percent since 2010.
If you know someone who is considered low-income and looking for help, you can call the new 211 service and a United Way service agent will help.