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      NECAC program teaches kids the hard truth about poverty

      We've all heard about how bad poverty is in this country and around the world.But do we really understand what it is like to live that way?A group a students at Palmrya High School have a better understanding thanks to their participation in NECAC's poverty simulation Wednesday.The students stepped into the lives of people who are living on the very edge of the poverty line.The simulation forces them to deal with the kinds of questions many people struggle with like not having health insurance, not being able to pay your bills and needing a second job but not having anyone to take care of your kids.Betty Whittaker, the CSBG program director for NECAC says that for some the experience is a real eye opener.

      She says, "Sometimes they come with the attitude this is gonna be easy, it's not a big deal, I can do this. And then they get into it and about halfway they're like" this is not as easy as I thought it was gonna be." " It's more of a struggle than I thought."

      Whittaker says that poverty is on the rise in Northeast Missouri because of high unemployment and business moving out of the area.She hopes that besides giving the kids an understanding of poverty that it might also inspire some of them to reach out and give a helping hand to others in the community.