• Memphis poverty rate jumps, now over 27 percent


    MEMPHIS, Tenn. - The poverty rate in Memphis has jumped three percent, according to officials.

    Director of Food Ministries for St. Vincent de Paul and former mayor Richard Hackett spoke with us today about the poverty rate that is at more that 27 percent in Memphis.

    An increase in poverty means a necessary increase in the funding and supplies given to the people who care for the city's poor.

    Mayor Hackett said its time for the city to answer the call.

    "Sometimes the economy to some people might be getting better, but it's getting worse for a lot of other people," Hackett said. 

    Out of the 27 percent in poverty levels, that number is more than 30 percent for children. 

    "Those that don't have this podium to speak, we need to speak on their behalf," Hackett said. 

    He said as the temperatures drop, Memphians need to consider the city's poor.

    "It's even harder in the winter months because it's harder to survive," he said. 

    Hackett now runs the soup kitchen at St. Vincent de Paul. They feed the poor every single day.

    He said of those living in the streets, many of them are veterans, many are kids, some are living in dumpsters and others eat out of them.

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    "We find in our streets, every year, someone who has frozen to death in Memphis, TN," Hackett said. That's just hard for Memphis to live with."

    As the poverty levels rise and temperatures drop, the time is now for Memphians to give to charities that help the poor, he said.

    "Memphis is a very giving city," said Hackett. "Memphis will respond. They will answer."

    St. Vincent de Paul is now in a place that they can bring in outside ministries to help with clothing and social services, as they operate their soup kitchen, according to Hackett. 

    If your organization would like to get involved, contact St. Vincent de Paul at 901-722-4703.

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