The Working Poor

Nearly half of the households helped by Green Harvest Food Pantry have at least one employed adult.  Unfortunately, for many people, having a job does not mean you are able to pay for the basic necessities, including food.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services identifies the 2008 poverty level as $21,200 for a family of four, or $1,760 per month.  A worker earning $10.00 per hour would fall just below the poverty line.  How would you budget your money if this were your salary?

Monthly Income   $1760.00

  • Housing                        $635

  • Utilities                         $192

  • Car or Transportation  $200

  • Taxes at 15%                $240

  • Clothing                       $100

  • Healthcare                   $145

  • Monthly Expenses    $1512.00

       Remaining Income      $248 (not counting food, child care, debt or emergencies


According to the latest government statistics, a family of 4 spends more than $632.00 per month on a THRIFTY food plan. That's a deficit of $384 per month.

A family of 4 must use this remaining income to pay for, personal hygiene items, school fees, child care, debt payments, emergencies, holidays/gifts, insurance, savings and most importantly, food.

Given this typical situation, could you make ends meet and provide your family with enough to eat? Or would you need help?