Families who live in poverty have a hard time getting enough food to eat. "The loss of jobs in the area led to increased poverty." "The poverty rate is the percent of people who live in poverty in a geographic area."
In the US, the government pays careful attention to how many citizens are living above and below the poverty level, which is defined by a certain maximum level of income. Poverty can also mean the lack of an important quality besides having enough money to live comfortably. For the last five years, David's sister has given him a pair of socks for his birthday. David believes this reflects the poverty of her imagination.