| By Lauren Stepp |
The War on Poverty might just be the longest battle these mountains have ever faced. Officially declared by President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964, the campaign has featured artilleries of federal aid and failed bootstrapping ploys that have long surpassed any other skirmishes in the southern campaign. It has waged alongside battles in faraway places like Iraq and Vietnam and outlasted them both. Yet Haywood County native Jasmine Middleton’s private stake in the offensive isn’t as timeworn, stretching back only one generation.