The demand for social services generally increased by double digits this year in Columbia, where the unemployment rate rose as high as 8 percent. Donations to many individual charities decreased, and the city’s overall allocation to social services declined by 1 percent.
There was, however, a saving grace in 2009; contributions to the Heart of Missouri United Way remained steady. (And unemployment has dropped to about 6 percent.)
As Kevin Pentico gathered his luggage at Columbia Regional Airport, he had just one complaint about his Delta flight from Memphis on the 34-seat turboprop plane.
“It’s so loud,” Pentico said. “Instead of peanuts, they should pass out earplugs.”