Recession negatively impacts Marathon County families
By Bonnie Shelton
MARATHON COUNTY (WAOW)--A report from the Wisconsin Council on Children and Families shows many Marathon County families face a double blow this recession. You lose your job and health care all at once and are left wondering how to make ends meet.
According to the Council's findings, unemployment rose almost 3 percent in 2009. The poverty rate in Marathon County jumped up a little more than that, and the median household income dropped by almost 5,000 dollars.
Jeff Sargent, Executive Director of the North Central Community Action Program, said he has seen Marathon County families struggle.
"The recession has severely impacted families."
North Central Community Action Program provides assistance to low income individuals and families to help secure jobs and housing. Just down the road, the neighbor's place is also seeing an increase in demand for food and clothing.
"What we are seeing is a lot of families who used to donate to the food pantry, are now coming and needing food from the pantry," said Tom Rau, Neighbor's Place Director.
Renae Sohlden comes to the Neighbor's Place to help her family because she has not been able to secure a job. "This is crucial. So many people out there just need basic items."
Perhaps the most shocking statistic to come out of these new findings: one out of every seven children in Marathon County live below the poverty line.
"Children are living in poverty and that affects their ability to learn, grow and develop," said Sargent. He also said to consider those suffering in our community and remember to give back as much as you can, especially during the holiday season.