We’re heading into the fourth year of what some economists claim is our recovery from the worst recession in 80 years. For 25 million Americans, and hundreds of thousands of Oregonians, they ask “what do you mean, recovery!?”
Recent statistics show a steady decline in the relative health of the country’s middle class, more so in the rural areas than in the urban. But now even the urban areas are starting to show definite signs of increased economic strain. According to the Oregonian, Lincoln County now has 23.1% of its residents on food stamps. That’s nearly one in four. It’s 26% in Coos, 25.7% in Douglas and 22% in Lane counties. Tillamook is at 18.2%, nearly one in five.
Even Oregon’s urban centers are feeling it. Multnomah County is at nearly 21%. In Clackamas and Washington counties it’s one in eight. It means, for more and more Oregonian middle class families, the wheels are falling off. More “regular families” are showing up at food pantries because they’re just not able to put food on the table any other way. And food pantries are doing triple time trying to figure out how to not run out of food before the end of the line of people outside.
Here’s one reporter’s assessment of it, in the Oregonian. Click here.