NASHVILLE -- New census estimates show the number of Americans living in poverty is higher than previously known — reaching a new level of 49 million people, or 16 percent of the population.
The revised numbers, released earlier this month, are higher than the official 2010 poverty rate of 15 percent that was reported in September.
Middle Tennessee eateries are giving their patrons a chance to help. The restaurants are partnering with the local homeless program, Room-in-the-Inn to raise relief funds.
Room in the Inn’s Rachel Hester says the face of poverty and homelessness in Middle Tennessee is changing. She says the homeless are younger now and many Middle Tennesseans have still not recovered from the 2010 flood.
Participating restaurants will ask patrons for permission to add a dollar to their bill with that money going to Room-in-the-Inn. For a list of participating restaurants, go to roomintheinn.org.