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Census Finds Dayton Metro Poverty Rate At Over 17 Percent

A U.S. Census Bureau report released this week says the rate in Dayton was 17.3 percent in 2014, an increase of nearly a full percentage point from 2013.

The numbers mean that more than 134,000 Dayton residents were living below the poverty level last year, which is about $20,000 for a family of three.

The 17 percent poverty rate closely matches Ohio’s 16.9 percent food insecurity rate. Michelle Riley is with The Foodbank, a distribution group that delivers food supplies to 96 member agencies in Montgomery, Greene and Preble Counties.

Riley says the high rates of poverty and food insecurity were on display this morning at a mass distribution event at the University of Dayton Arena.

"Today we delivered 70,000 pounds of food. There were 1,100 families in line and that represented 3,754 individuals.”

The overall poverty rate in Ohio in 2014 was 15.8 percent, slightly higher than the national rate of 15.5 percent. And according to a recent report from the USDA, the state ranks sixth nationally for food insecurity.