Sizeable poverty in Georgia's Bibb county

At age 68, Marion McClinton lives on the cusp of poverty.

The retired Mercer University housekeeper makes ends meet on about $1,000 a month.

"Sometimes I don't get by," she said. "Sometimes my daughter has to buy my groceries — practically every week. ... I'm tired of eating collard greens and neckbones."

McClinton's income, which she says includes a small pension from her 41 years at Mercer, hovers just above the $11,000 poverty level for one person.

According to U.S. Census Bureau figures out this week, about 16 percent of Bibb County residents who are 65 and older live in poverty. By comparison, one in five of all residents — 20.7 percent — is considered impoverished.

McClinton, who pays $198 in rent each month and who volunteers at the Macon-Bibb County Senior Citizen Center, offered this advice to surviving economic tough times: “Don’t get old.”

“And look,” she said, “some people get less than I do. I think I’ve got $50 in my account.”

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