Lebanon Reporter

April 24, 2013

Poverty simulation: 'This is not a game'

By Sarah Lang
Staff writer

— I was handed a card that gave me a new identity. I was 39-year-old Betty Boling, wife to Ben and mother to Barbara, 16, Bart, 10, and Brian, 8. Ben had been laid off from work, and I was the sole wage earner of the family. We entered a room and began our new lives as the Boling family.

This is how my experience started at my first poverty simulation, held yesterday in the Witham Health Services Pavilion at the Boone County 4-H Fairgrounds. The simulation was part of a Feeding Our Future event, through which The Caring Center aimed to raise $20,000 to help fight childhood hunger.

And unfortunately, the Boling children were hungry. I heard it several times.

A few dozen community members participated in this simulation, in which the characters were based on real people, Theresa Hanners of The Caring Center told us. It was designed to sensitize participants to the day-to-day struggles of people living in low-income homes.

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