Written by Nikki Newbrough, Multimedia Journalist - bio | email
WATERLOO (KWWL) -
Out Tuesday, a reality that poverty numbers haven't really changed from 2011 to 2012. In fact, the numbers have remained the same over the last five years, with one in seven people living in poverty.
Kandice Graham is a self described survivor, moving to Waterloo from Chicago about a year and a half ago.
"I just try to do the best that I can do with what I have," said Graham.
What she has is $361 from a family investment program -- but rent is $445.
Graham says she is trying to get a job, but it hasn't really worked out. That's partly because Graham isn't living just for herself -- she needs to provide for her son, who she says was recently denied busing to school.
"Because I can't find a job, because I take him back and forth to school every day. We have to walk to school every day," said Graham.
Which cycles back to Graham's worries about where the rest of the money for rent and other essentials is coming from every month.
"Right now I'm on the energy assistance thing with my light company, and I'm on a payment plan so my lights won't get cut off," said Graham.
Graham says she is living off food stamps, but folks at the Northeast Iowa Food Bank see stories like hers all the time.
"They might not qualify for government benefit, but they qualify for our services and that can often help them pay another bill," said Brab Prather, executive director. "If they get food from us, it might help them pay their rent."
Prather says food pantries saw a spike in need over the summer months, not just in Waterloo, but across the country. She credits that to the rising food and gas prices.
Just in July, the Northeast Iowa Food Bank served 1,700 families.
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