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Clothing kids versus the economy

Knights Council, schools team up for coat drive

Chris Golas, recently installed Grand Knight of the Southbridge Knights of Columbus, and Worcester County Chapter President Joseph Baniukiewicz display a couple of the 334 coats the organization collected for area youth. They were distributing the coats Sunday afternoon, Dec. 18. Gus Steeves. (click for larger version)
December 19, 2011
SOUTHBRIDGE — It took extra time this year for winter's usual chill to settle in, but it's here now.

Unfortunately, some people cannot afford jackets that suit the New England climate. That's why the school district and Knights of Columbus groups county-wide teamed up to obtain 334 of them, distributing most of them in Southbridge Sunday afternoon, Dec. 18.

"We just wanted to help people in need, especially in light of the tornado in June, Hurricane Irene and the economic situation all combined," said newly installed Grand Knight Chris Golas. "There's more need than ever before."

Indeed, last week's release of new Census data showed that half of Americans are either legally poor or nearly so. The Associated Press reported that high unemployment, shrinking wages, rising prices for food and fuel, and other factors since the economy collapsed in 2007 have combined to push 97 million Americans into the "low-income" category — meaning they bring home less than twice the federal poverty level — and 49.1 million who fall below that line and are officially "poor." For a family of four, the poverty level is $22,350, making the "low-income" limit $44,699.

For more on this story, please see tomorrow's Southbridge Evening News.

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