Poverty Tour underway in Mississippi Delta, 50 years after first - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Poverty Tour underway in Mississippi Delta, 50 years after first tour

MADISON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

It was 1967 when Marian Wright Edelman, the founder and leader of the Children's Defense Fund, challenged U.S. Senators to go see for themselves,  the extreme poverty and suffering in the Mississippi Delta.

Edelman is heading back to the Delta hoping to find progress and to shed light on continuing problems, especially for children.

The poverty tour bus will make its way into the Mississippi Delta, stopping in Greenwood for the night. Those boarding the bus, including Marian Wright Edelman, will spend Wednesday gathering information and facts on poverty, healthcare, education and economics.

"I hope that some things have changed but I feel that not enough has changed and so what we're hoping is that we can see how our children are faring, how their health is faring, how many people are still hungry, because there are too many people still hungry in Mississippi and around the country," Edelman.

Those aboard the bus recognize the significance of this tour through the Delta, 50 years after Senator Robert Kennedy made this same trip with Edelman.

"We need to make sure that these programs are getting to the poor, and that where they need to be strengthened they are strengthened," said Senator Robert Kennedy in 1967.

"I think that this is a very important time in our country and so this will renew my spirit and determination to finish the job that Robert Kennedy and Dr. King started," said Edelman.

"50 years after Senator Kennedy's visit, we still have record numbers of children still living in poverty." said Oleta Fitzgerald, the Southern Regional Director of the Children's Defense Fund.

In addition to bringing attention to continuing problems and challenges that prevent families and children from moving out of poor conditions, this group hopes to focus on programs that have worked and how they can shore them up and provide more services for those in need.

The poverty tour will cover parts of Quitman, Tallahatchie and Coahoma counties.

Children will be examined by pediatricians and nurses from the University of Mississippi Medical Center and the Aaron Henry Health Center in Marks Wednesday afternoon.

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