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In the News: Tara Kenchen on state poverty increase

New data released yesterday by the U.S. Census Bureau show that, from 2008 to 2009, the percentage of people living in poverty in North Carolina has increased more than it has increased for the nation as a whole. There are now more than 1.4 million people living in poverty in the state. Our Chief Operating Officer Tara Kenchen spoke with Matt Ehlers of the News & Observer about what this means for the state, and was quoted in his article, “In North Carolina, more fall into poverty.” Here’s an excerpt from the article:

The numbers did not surprise Tara Kenchen, chief operating officer of the nonprofit N.C. Community Development Initiative. As more of the middle class lose their jobs, more will find themselves below the poverty threshold, which is about $22,000 for a family of four.

“We are still in the trenches with the traditional poor,” she said. “But we also have an emerging poor.”

The state also has fewer people in the higher income brackets. The number of households with an income of more than $200,000 fell by a fraction of a percentage point.

“If North Carolina is struggling in the middle and upper classes, it just pushes down. The poor are getting poorer,” said Kenchen, whose organization provides grants and technical assistance to community development corporations across the state.

The results of the 2009 American Community Survey can be viewed here.


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