LEAP (Local Engagement Against Poverty) is a student-led service initiative at Mercer University that seeks to address the needs of those living below the poverty line in our community.

In 2009, Forbes magazine named Macon as one of the 10 most impoverished cities in the nation. The statistics about our community are stark:

  • The percentage of Macon’s population living in poverty is twice that of the national average.Do you know what the national average for poverty is? Test your knowledge of poverty.
  • The poverty line is defined as an income of $14,840 for a household of two.
  • A single parent with one child working full-time at a minimum wage of $7.25 per hour every week of the year ($7.25 x 40 hours x 52 weeks) would earn $15,080 before any deductions or taxes. That is $240 above the poverty line—to pay for housing, transportation, health care, clothes, and other necessities.
  • The percentage of Macon’s population who fall 50% below the poverty line is nearly 9%.
  • In Macon, 1 in 5 children live in poverty.