Fact: The Federal Policy Level used to determine eligibility for many public services is the same whether a family lives in Missouri, Montana, Michigan, or Middlesex County, NJ.
For 2016, a family of four is considered above the poverty level if they earn $24,300 or more anywhere in the 48 contiguous United States.
Fact: In the past decade the poor population of Middlesex County has increased by double-digits, especially in the towns of Edison, New Brunswick, Perth Amboy and Woodbridge (Confronting Suburban Poverty in America, Brookings Institute, 2013).
Fact: In Middlesex County, NJ, even families earning up to 300% of the poverty level must "choose between basic necessities – whether to meet one's need for child care but not nutrition, or housing but not health care." (The Real Cost of Living in New Jersey 2013, http://www.lsnj.org/PDFs/RCL2013.pdf)