Hunger and Poverty

StudyUnited Way study finds working families struggling to get by
By Jenny Staletovich at Miami Herald
A United Way study, the “ALICE Report,” found that about half of Florida residents live below the poverty line or struggle to pay for food and other basic needs. About 2.1 million are the “working poor” and living paycheck to paycheck; in Miami-Dade County, 21 percent of households live below the poverty line and 29 percent aren’t able to afford a “survival budget.” This budget, developed by researchers from the School of Public Affairs and Administration at Rutgers University – Newark, is the amount needed to cover basic needs; layered with housing cost statistics, wages and other indicators, the researchers came up with a measure to define the working poor. To survive in Florida, a family of four would need $47,484 a year; a single adult would need $18,624 – twice the federal poverty rate. Contributing to the working poor in Florida are jobs paying less than $15 an hour, the state’s aging population, and the fact that 48 percent of households don’t have enough saved to survive three months without a paycheck. In addition, only 27 percent of Floridians over the age of 25 have a bachelor’s or advanced degree.