About Hunger

In Monmouth & Ocean Counties:

  • The Real Cost of Living (RCL) in Monmouth County for a family of two adults and two school aged children is $74,287; in Ocean County it’s $62,936.3
  • One in every 10 households in Monmouth County have earnings below the RCL; one in every 7 households earn below the RCL in Ocean County.3
  • One in every 10 people in Monmouth and Ocean Counties receive “emergency” food from the FoodBank’s network of pantries, soup kitchens and other agencies.4
  • The gap between the rich and the poor continues to increase. While personal income increased among the wealthy, so did poverty among the poorer segments of the population, rising from 5.3% to 6.8% in Monmouth County and from 6.7 to 11% in Ocean County in the period 2000-2010.2
  • Poverty rates among children increased significantly in the last decade: from 6.8% to 8.7% in Monmouth County and from 10.4% to 19.2% in Ocean County.2
  • The FoodBank served 51,000 children with emergency food in 2010, compared with “only” almost 19,000 in 2005.4
  • Of all households receiving emergency food in Monmouth and Ocean Counties, almost half (45%) of households with children experienced hunger during the course of the year.4

Food Insecurity Ocean County

Child Food Insecurity Ocean County

Food Insecurity in Monmouth County

Child Food Insecurity in Monmouth County

In New Jersey:

  • The very high cost of living makes it difficult for low-income people to make ends meet. While the Federal poverty level for a family of four has become $23,850 in 2014, a recent study showed that such a family needs between $64,000 and $77,000 annually to meet its most basic needs in New Jersey.3
  • This income range is the Real Cost of Living in New Jersey (RCL); the income required to ensure a family covers expenses for food, housing, child care, health care and other basic needs, without any luxuries, vacations or take-outs.3
  • One of every four New Jersey workers earn wages below the RLC.3

Learn More About Hunger in New Jersey

In the United States:

  • Fifteen percent of all Americans live in poverty.
  • 14.5 percent of households (17.6 million households) are food insecure, which means they do not have access to enough food to meet their basic needs. In 2012, 49 million Americans lived in food insecure households, 33.1 million adults and 15.9 million children.
  • In 2011, 4.8 million seniors (over age 60), or 8.4% of all seniors were food insecure.

For a snapshot of Hunger in America, see the Map the Meal Gap

Released by Feeding America in 2012, the map details hunger statistics in every county in the U.S. shows that children continue to struggle with hunger in every county in the nation. More than 1,000 counties have more than one in four children who are at risk of hunger.

Meet Kate, one of 36,836 children in Monmouth and Ocean Counties who struggle with hunger. Her family’s experience with hunger is shared by many people in our communities.


  1. Food Research and Action Council (FRAC)
  2. US Census Bureau, Small Area Income and Poverty Estimates Program. County estimates.
  3. The Real Cost of Living in New Jersey: What it Takes to Meet Basic Needs and Avoid Deprivation. Legal Services of New Jersey, Poverty Research Institute, May 2013.
  4. Hunger in America 2014, New Jersey Report. Monmouth and Ocean County Report. Feeding America. Princeton: Mathematica Policy Research.