Many of us think of poverty as a “city problem” and we think of people far away, but the truth is there are real growing needs all around us.
The truth is poverty is in Gwinnett County with the overall and child poverty rates more than doubling since 2000 (United States Census Bureau, 2017.) In 2016, 54% of all Gwinnett County school children were eligible for free or reduced lunches. That’s almost 96,000 children– enough to fill over 1,370 school buses. (Yeswecangwinnett.com)
In the North Gwinnett communities of Buford, Sugar Hill and Suwanee the poverty rate continues to rise in our neighboring communities. Many families are just one life crisis away from being propelled into poverty. Parents who lost their jobs or are working in jobs with low wages struggle to put food on the table for their family. Seniors on fixed income make decisions about whether to buy food or pay for necessary prescription medications.
People in need face these types of decisions every day, and the North Gwinnett Co-Op with its hunger-relief programs are here to help! To meet the growing need, in 2017, the Co-Op served 16,386 people representing a growth of 14% over 2016. Of those served in 2017:
40% (6,630) were children
37% (6,014) were adults
23% (3,742) were senior citizens