A tiny town with a population of 73 in the year 2000, Myra is located in the mountains of Appalachia in Eastern Kentucky, near the Virginia border. Blink as you drive through town and you’ll miss it, with its one tiny restaurant, post office, and dilapidated houses, some without phone service or electricity.
Median annual family income in Myra in 2000 (2010 Census statistics for Myra have not yet been released) was $7,679
• 100% of Myra’s population lived below the poverty level in 2000.
• Many households have no working car, with the closest grocery store or bank a 30 minute drive away. There is no hospital, library, park, or recreational program for children nearby.
Family-to-Family sponsors families in both Pike County, where Myra is located, and in nearby Floyd County. The Census Bureau’s Small Area Income and Poverty Estimates, 2008 found that:
- 38.7% of children under age 18 in Floyd County and
- 33.1% of children under age 18 in Pike County live below the poverty level.
Coal mining is the only industry in the area, but a depressed coal market and a weak economy have meant hundreds of recent layoffs. Unemployment is high, and most residents who have jobs work for minimum wage. Close to 70% of all adults over the age of 25 never finished high school.
Manna from Heaven, a non-profit food pantry and donation center, is Family-to-Family’s partner in Myra.Nineteen years ago, Lois Tackett started Manna from Heaven to help herself recover from the death of her newborn baby daughter.
Lois says helping others has been her salvation. Tackett and her husband Ralph take care of 825 Kentucky families with donations of food, clothing and furniture, as well as offers of spiritual guidance. Manna from Heaven also distributes vegetable seeds (read about Seeds for Change) and coordinates Family-to-Family’s Victory Garden project link to help local families grow their own food.
In Myra, Family-to-Family purchases groceries for our sponsored families from the Pikesville Walmart.
Read more about Eastern Kentucky:
Poverty tour returns to Kentucky - USATODAY.com
Manna From Heaven
7269 Highway 610 West
Myra, Kentucky 41549
Attn: Lois Tackett
Frankford, New Jersey
Source of statistics: U.S. Census Bureau: Small Area Income & Poverty Estimates, 2008
U.S. Census Bureau: 2005-2007 American Community Survey
U.S. Census, 2000