The State of Poverty in Johnson County Public Forum

Johnson County hosted a public forum, "The State of Poverty in Johnson County," from 9 a.m. to noon on Friday, Oct. 12, 2018 in the Johnson County Health and Human Services Building, Room 203 B/C. More than 90 community members and Johnson County staff participated in the event.

More than 25,000 of your Johnson County neighbors live in poverty. Another 25,000 are struggling to make ends meet while working. In Johnson County, 31.5 percent of children were eligible for free and reduced school lunch last year. Poverty stretches across all generations and cultures in our community.

The forum included presentations by state and local experts, including the Child and Family Policy Center, Iowa Policy Project, Iowa Women’s Foundation, and United Way. The event will kick off a series of action planning meetings focused on collaboratively developing strategies to address issues of poverty in our community.



“Poverty and Work in Johnson County, Iowa,” Natalie Veldhouse, Research Associate, Iowa Policy Project

“2018 SHE Matters: The Status of Women and Girls in Iowa and What we are Doing About It,” Dawn Oliver Wiand, Executive Director, Iowa Women’s Foundation

“Child Poverty in Iowa: Implications and Opportunities,” Mary Nelle Trefz, MPH, Health Policy Associate, Child and Family Policy Center

“ALICE: A Study of Financial Hardship in Iowa,” by Patti Fields, Vice President for Community Impact and Engagement, United Way of Johnson and Washington Counties


Helpful links

National Center for Children in Poverty

Center for Study of Social Policy

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach

Cost of Living in Johnson County, Iowa, 2018 Edition

Iowa Women's Foundation (IWF)



Poverty Action Planning