ORLANDO, Fla. – Experts and leaders with Heart of Florida United Way highlighted the struggles low-income families are going through due to the pandemic and recent inflation.
Heart of Florida United Way identify those families as ALICE—Asset Limited, Income Constrained and Employed.
According to the organization, ALICE is 47% of Central Florida’s population.
“Forty percent of ALICE families and families in poverty reported in the fall of 2021 that their children sometimes or often didn’t have enough to eat compared to 22% of higher income families,” said Nancy Alvarez with the Heart of Florida United Way.
Data showed 700,000 children from low-income households throughout Florida lacked high-speed internet during the pandemic.
It also showed 23% of children from struggling families attended summer school in 2021, compared to 15% from higher-income families.
Experts said a lot of parents are not making enough money to afford basic necessities and some are still out of work.
“More than 280,000 Floridians just a month ago noted they are out of work because they are taking care of a child that are not in school or in an after school program,” said Kyle Baltuch with Equality of Opportunity Florida Chamber of Commerce Foundation.
Housing is another issue for low-income families. The Florida Coalition to End Homelessness explained it’s hard for ALICE families to afford rent.
“For example, our fair market two-bedroom, can range between, depending which county, $1,200 to $1,500 but those rents that’s not what they are going for. They are going 400 to 800 above FMR (Financial Management Regulation),” Daniel Ramos with The Florida Coalition to End Homelessness said.
Leaders with Heart of Florida United Way said this is one out of three ALICE data reports released. The next report will be released in July and the third in November.