According to The Bureau of Labor Statistics, the “working poor” are defined as those who spend at least half their year in the labor force or actively looking for work, even though their income levels may fall below the federal poverty level.
In 2017, 6.9 million Americans fell into the working poor category. Most working poor are adults over the age of 35, and have at least one working adult per household. For them, employment is often not enough to pay for basic living expenses such as food, rent, utilities and medicine. Additionally, many of the working poor make too much money to qualify for federal assistance programs. When an illness or unexpected expense occurs, they must make hard choices about paying for food, or other necessities.
In the Big Bend, almost 100,000 people are food insecure. Each month, Second Harvest food bank distributes enough food to serve 55,000 individuals. With our support, working poor individuals and families are provided with healthy, nutritious food at no cost—reducing their need to make hard choices and painful sacrifices.