United Way begins annual campaign

Andrea Rose news@echo-pilot.com

United Way of Franklin County kicked off the annual fundraising campaign Friday with lunch and a closer look at ALICE — a statewide report that chronicles the typical Asset Limited Income Restrained Employee.

United Way officials hope to raise $850,000 in this year's campaign.

"So far, we have raised $341,662 or 40 percent of our goal thanks to our pacesetter companies," Kim Crider , campaign chair, said.

But funding requests always exceed funding awards, so there is still a need for the community's help.

"The campaign is just getting started," Crider said. "We have lots of work ahead of us."

According to the ALICE data, 30 percent of households in Franklin County are struggling to survive.

Of that 30 percent, about 10 percent live below the federal poverty line.

"One in five households in Franklin County is working hard, giving back to the community, yet they don't know if they can put dinner on the table every night," Crider said. "These are households that include women, men, young and old, of all ethnicities."

According to ALICE, a household with two adults, one infant and one preschooler in the county must earn an hourly wage of $28.42 to meet the “survival budget” of $56,844 per year — which includes rent/utilities, fuel, day care, health care and food.

A single adult must earn $9.98 per hour, or $19,968 annually in order to survive, according to the data.

Of all the municipalities in the county, Waynesboro has the highest percentage of households that struggle to pay for basic needs (51 percent), followed by Mercersburg (46 percent) and Chambersburg (44 percent).