Using story-telling, not statistics to understand poverty

By Mike Sherry, HCF guest blogger and KHI News Service journalist

Even though it has a median household income of nearly $70,000, Johnson County still had about seven out of every hundred residents fall into poverty within the past year.

Census figures also show that that roughly 9 percent of the county residents have no health coverage, a figure that holds true even among employed adults.

That means there are thousands of hard-luck situations out there, many of which don’t fit the stereotype that many have on the welfare recipient.

Waste not: SoSA West fights hunger, wasted food through gleaning

By Lisa Ousley, SoSA West director

Each week in the Kansas City area as many as 66,000 different people seek emergency food assistance. In Missouri, one in four children lives in homes where there is not enough food; in Kansas one in five children live in food-insecure homes.

Yet every year, we throw away more than enough nutritious food to feed each hungry family, senior, and child in the U.S. — more than 96 billion pounds — according to the USDA. Food that could nourish our citizens ends up in landfills.

Legal aid lawyers work for the rights of the poor

Last week, I met with a group of legal aid lawyers from all around the country, including several of our outstanding team of legal aid lawyers in Kansas City. These skilled and dedicated lawyers, who could earn two to three times their current annual income if they were in private practice, have devoted their life to helping the poor obtain justice via our legal system.

Our justice system is complicated, and without professional legal help, the chances of a poor person obtaining justice via our legal system is remote.

These lawyers: