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The Need

1 in 10 NJ Residents are HungryNew Jersey is the third wealthiest state in the nation and is home to 8.9 million residents, yet 1 in 10 of its residents is hungry and more than 8,500 are homeless. The federal poverty level (FPL) is the benchmark that has been used by policymakers and the public, to discuss poverty. For example, the 2018 FPL for a family of four is $25,100 annually or $2,091 monthly. Considering the average monthly rent in New Jersey for a two bedroom apartment ranges from $1,200–$1,750, it is understood why individuals who are at the FPL or even 200% FPL, even with the aid of government programs continue to face tough decisions, choosing between basic necessities, such as food, heat or medicine.

“. . .many individuals and families in New Jersey and nationally live above the poverty line but struggle every day to afford food and housing.”

But what is coming into greater focus is the realization that many individuals in New Jersey and nationally live above the poverty line but struggle every day to afford food and housing. Historically known as the “working poor,” the discussion has shifted to emphasize the everyday struggles of ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed).