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Serving the Suburban Poor

We're all richer when we realize that poverty is in the cul-de-sac too.
Serving the Suburban Poor

Each week, my church family serves a free meal after our 11 a.m. service. The meal is open to any one who would like it. Afterwards, a market is set up where patrons can receive a number and "shop" free of charge. The entire operation exists to serve those who find themselves materially poor and cannot afford groceries. People who could use a meal once a week.

While this may not surprise you, it surprises some people in our community because of one simple fact: our church is in the middle of a pretty wealthy suburb outside of Portland, OR.

I was telling a friend of mine (who knows the demographic of our community) about this. "Who even uses it?" he asked.

"Many different types of people" I said. "It's packed every week."

The numbers get real

Recently, Brookings researchers released Confronting Suburban Poverty in America. It's a lengthy report on a staggering new number: there are 16.5 million poor people living in suburbs compared ...

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