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Poverty & Hunger Facts Preventing Homelessness, Ending Hunger

Poverty imposes such a massive cognitive load on the poor that they have little bandwidth left over to do many of the things that might lift them out of poverty.

...Research suggests that the reality of poverty actually makes it harder to execute fundamental life skills. Being poor means, as the authors write, "coping with not just a shortfall of money, but also with a concurrent shortfall of cognitive resources."

According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition, the fair-market rent for a two-bedroom apartment in Wisconsin is $740.

The term "affordable housing" is defined as a rental unit where the total cost of rent and utilities does not exceed 30 percent of a renter's income.

For that unit to be defined as "affordable," the renter's wage must be greater than $14 an hour. The wage for Wisconsin's average renter is just more than $11 an hour.

You're poor when you can't buy what you need. When you cannot afford to pay for your rent, you can't afford to buy food, you can't afford clothing.

-"What is poverty? Think beyond the official number"  Marketplace, from American Public Media

Over 92% of mothers who are homeless have experienced severe physical and/or sexual abuse during their lifetime. About 2/3 have histories of domestic violence.

Children who are homeless experience higher rates of emotional and behavioral problems than low-income housed children.


A 12.2% poverty rate for Dane County means 59,545 people. That's about the populations of Sun Prairie, Verona and Middleton.combined. Between 2000 and 2010, people living in Dane County in poverty increased by 20,937. That's more than the populations of the City of Middleton and the Village of Cross Plains.also combined.

2010 census showed that poverty rose, and median income fell in Madison and in Dane County as a whole.

37% (471,159) of Wisconsin children are low-income.

Research suggests that, on average, families need an income of about twice the federal poverty level to meet their most basic needs. Children living in families with incomes below this level ($44,100 for a family of four in 2010) are referred to as low income.

-National Center for Children in Poverty  Demographics of Low-Income Children

There were 132,000 household visits to Dane County Food Pantries in 2010.

This represents a 56% increase over visits in 2007.  152,000 children were served in 2010.

-Dane County Food Pantry Network 2010 Year End Service Statistics 

Median household income in Dane County dropped more than 6 percent from 2008 to 2009, falling at a faster rate than the 2.9 percent decrease for the nation. The decrease was even greater in Madison.

Dane County median income fell from $61,617 to $57,687, according to the Census Bureau's American Community Survey. Nationally the decrease was from $51,726 to $50,221.

-Census Bureau  Madison.com

  In 2012, MOM distributed nearly 750,000 pounds of food, up 241% since 2007.

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