Greater Mankato Area United Way is making an effort to fight poverty by putting others through it, in theory. 

Tuesday's poverty simulation gave participants an opportunity to assume the role of a low-income family member.

"They might be a child. They might be an adult. Then they go around and they have to get resources. Everything from getting a job, going to the grocery store, to figuring out transportation," United Way community outreach director Laura Murray says.

Murray says this is the first simulation open to the public in an effort to end any stigma surrounding those with low-income.

"Poverty is a really concerning issue and even right here in our region it exists. So, today is all about people walking a mile in the shoes of someone who's in a low-income situation," Murray says.

Wilbur Neushwander-Frink played the role of a local officer while volunteering at today's event.
"For myself, who is a middle-income person in this community, has a real understanding of what that means to live in poverty. What it means to get from one place to the next. What it means every month to pay your bills and manage your family," Neushwander-Frink says. 

She says the simulation helps raise consciousness and compassion around the issue of poverty.

"Even in the one-hour simulation people were very, very tired around this experience of trying to make it on a day-to-day basis," she says. 
United Way will continue to raise awareness surrounding those enduring hardship. Next month's Grateful Giving opportunity invites local families to raise money for a chosen charity. To learn about how to get involved visit the United Way website.