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How the Federal Poverty Level is calculated: Info at bottom of this page.*

Family Health CARE- our history:

Family Health Care began with the mission of providing health care for the poor. We chose to triage the most pressing health concerns and have focused on caring for those who have the least options- people with HIV and other serious illnesses, uninsured pregnant women and other needy populations. FHC located in the Eastern side of Wyandotte County, Kansas because of the concentration of poverty and health needs in this area.

Family Health Care provides for the needy in our community. This map shows the percentage of people in each zip code who live at or below the federal poverty level. It also shows (in parenthesis) the percentage of people who live at or below 50% of the federal poverty level. The folks at this level of income are often homeless and lack access to basic services. 


% of individuals living at or below the federal poverty level.

(% of individuals living on incomes below HALF the federal poverty level.) 

Wyandotte County has a high concentration of people who live in poverty. The proportion of people living below the federal poverty level in the zip codes along the Eastern Wyandotte County/Kansas State line is greater than any in the State of Kansas or in the Kansas City metropolitan area. In fact the percentage who live at half the poverty level is greater than the percentages at the poverty level in most of the other Wyandotte County zip codes.



Have you wondered how the poverty level is calculated? 
In 1964 Mollie Orshansky (an economist working for the Social Security Administration) developed the FPL measure.
  • She based her figures not on what was enough, but what was not enough for the basics.
  • She reasoned that the most basic need was for food and utilized a 1955 government survey which indicated families spent 1/3 of income on food and assumed non-food costs remained proportionate.
  • Then using the Department of Agriculture’s estimated food plan costs X 3 to determine the poverty level.

            Which food plan? The Department of Argriculture had several food plans calculated which were based on various nutritional levels. Ms. Orshansky proposed different plans using three of these levels. Her superios chose to base the poverty leve on the lowest plan- the "economy food plan" that was developed to provide only short-term nutritionally adequate diet bundle, for "temporary or emergency use" as it did not have enough nutrients to provide a longer term healthy diet. 

Today, although Americans spend far less of their disposable income on food (2009 = 6%) than fifty years ago, the formula of calculating the cost of the food bundle (now called the "Thrifty Food Plan") and multiplying by three has remained the basis for determining the federal poverty level.