Myth Number One: If I ignore the poor, they will go away.

Myth Number One: If I ignore the poor, they will go away.
This is simply not true.
We cannot ignore the problem of hunger in our city.
Personally, I was unaware of the problem of local food insecurity until the Lord pointed it out to me. Then it was confirmed by statistics.
Here they are:
• The poverty rate in Carthage is 28.9 percent (https://datausa.io/profile/geo/carthage-mo/#intro.)
• The national poverty rate is: 14.7 percent (https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/slideshows/the-10-states-with-the-highest-poverty-rate)
• The state poverty rate is 13-15.9% (https://www.census.gov/library/visualizations/2017/comm/poverty-map.html)
This means that our city has a much higher rate of poverty than our state and our nation.
Carthage, we have a problem! People are hungry in our city. At Feeding, Inc, we see the problem each week and statistics don’t lie.
We found out from our records that 40 percent of our clients are children and 16 percent are elderly on a fixed income. Without our help and the help of other agencies, many of the people in our city would go to bed hungry.
People who are needy need help. If they have no place to go for food, advice, wisdom or encouragement, they can and do resort to crime, drugs, violence, suicide, abuse, and neglect. This affects our city and region.
Helping the poor with assistance, training, prayer, and life coaching alleviates crime and provides a safe place for them to learn and grow.
Perhaps you would say, “That’s not my problem.” But it is your problem and mine.
I personally want to see our city and region care for its residents, helping them with basic needs that free them to hope for a better life, to find jobs, or get an education.
Some people who do not know our clients, judge them and say, “They just need to get a job!” or “They are becoming dependent on your assistance.”
My question to those people is, “How do you know that?”
Perhaps, it is easier to judge them than help them.
Because we are a relational charity, we get to know our clients building trust, offering a hand up, offering an opportunity to sit down with one of our volunteers to talk about goal setting, job opportunities, and ways to solve problems.
We can continue to ignore the problem, but it won’t go away without our help.
A few of our families are stuck in systemic poverty which means they have been poor and dependent on agencies like ours for generations. We try to help them break that cycle.
Some come to us for help because of a temporary need, and some come because they ran out of money to buy food at the end of the month. For whatever reason, people in our city and surrounding area are hungry.
You can help by volunteering, giving which includes money, food drives, or fund raising.
Here is a list of some of the items we consistently need: gallon freezer bags, paper plates, small or large, plastic forks, cups for various sized beverages, office supplies, and volunteers.
We are here to bless our city, helping its residents by feeding them, and dispensing wisdom through training.