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For the first time since 2010, the poverty rate in America shot up dramatically in 2022, according to data from the Census Bureau. That means more Americans can’t afford basic needs like food, clothing, shelter, and utilities than has been the case in more than a decade.

But the situation isn’t just affecting Americans living in poverty. United Way uses the term ALICE to refer to the increasing number of people who are asset-limited, income-constrained, and employed but are still not able to afford their basic needs. In 2021, 13% of Americans earned below the federal poverty level but many more, 29%, fell under the ALICE umbrella, according to the grassroots movement United for ALICE.

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