Survey shows poverty levels increased in 2009

A look at poverty in Lancaster county shows family's were worse off in 2009 than in 2008. But a glimmer of hope remains.  Those struggling say they continue to have a positive outlook. The Center for People in Need released the 2009 face of poverty report Wednesday. And although the numbers continue to grow…so has confidence in what the future holds.

By looking at Tasha today you might not know that at one point in her life putting food on the table for her child and paying the bills were far from a reality.

“I've had to decide whether to feed my daughter or pay my bills, naturally I fed my daughter, there has even been times when I have went days without eating just so she could eat,” Tasha said.

Her story is just one of many, according to the Center for People in Need's 2009 survey of already struggling families, putting food on the table is one of there biggest worries. “They need food, I don't know how many times people come and say thank you I don't know where I would be without you tonight…because food is the one place the can cut, they have to pay their rent and they have to pay their utilities,” Beatty Brasch said.

More then 2,000 low income families across Lancaster county were surveyed for the report. 62 percent say they were worse off in 2009 than 2008 and shockingly 3 out of 4 adults surveyed say they sometimes, often or always have trouble buying food, a stress that Tasha says was hard to handle.

Still the report shows those struggling hold on to a glimmer of hope more than half of those who responded believe things will be better down the road “I think that is inspiring to the rest of us who are not struggling on a day–to–day basis that you can be positive even when things are not going well.”

About 60 percent of those surveyed say times have been so tough, someone in their household has to go without prescription medicine.