poverty

Health Disparity
2:59 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

Smoking Rates Decline in Connecticut, But Striking Disparities Persist By County

Credit Marius Mellebye / Creative Commons

Although smoking rates in Connecticut decreased between 1996 and 2012, striking disparities persist among counties, according to new research from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
11:30 am
Wed March 5, 2014

Raising the Minimum Wage

Raising the minimum wage will put more money on the plates of those who need it most
Credit Tax Credits / Creative Commons

Minimum wage in Connecticut is higher than the federal minimum, $8.70 an hour instead of $7.25. In fact, the federal minimum is so ridiculously low that not many people are earning it. Maybe as few as 1.5 million, according to one study. 

So, what happens if it goes up to $10.10 an hour here, or less likely, nationally. Some minimum wage workers will tell you that is still ridiculously low, $15 an hour is more like it. And, there are movements to help fast food workers bargain collectively for that kind of raise.

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Minimum Wage
5:46 am
Wed March 5, 2014

Economists' Views Differ on Whether Minimum Wage Would Hurt Job Growth

Reverend Samuel Saylor of Hartford spoke at a rally outside the Connecticut State Capitol last May to support raising the minimum wage.
Credit Connecticut Senate Democrats / Creative Commons

President Barack Obama will be in Connecticut on Wednesday with four governors to push for a higher minimum wage of $10.10 an hour.

The increase is controversial, but what might actually happen if it goes up? Increasing the minimum wage is a contested political issue, but it's also an economic question that can be studied.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
4:00 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

Broccoli is Best!

Credit whologwy, Flickr Creative Commons

Somehow, kale has become trendy in the last few years, although its moment in the sun seems to be almost over. How did a thing like that happen? Would it be possible to infuse an old standby like broccoli with a similar hip panache? Broccoli is the warmest vegetable, and the coolest.

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Poverty
3:50 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

LBJ's War on Poverty Sidetracked by Politics, Economics

President Lyndon B. Johnson on his poverty tour on May 7, 1964 in Knoxville, Tennessee.
Credit Cecil Stoughton / LBJ Library Photos

Fifty years ago in his state of the union address, President Lyndon Johnson declared "war on poverty." Today, there are still 50 million people in poverty in the U.S. But Yale Historian Jennifer Klein said that number doesn't mean Johnson's war was a failure.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Thu February 13, 2014

War on Poverty is Far From Won

President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964.
Credit LBJ Library

Just over 50 years ago, President Lyndon B. Johnson delivered his State of the Union address and made a pledge to the nation. "This administration today, here and now, declares unconditional war on poverty in America," he said.

Johnson didn't live long enough to see the end of the War on Poverty...and neither have we. Poverty continues to be a big problem in the United States and right here in Connecticut.

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Homelessness
8:27 am
Thu December 26, 2013

Visiting Hartford's Homeless Population

A dormitory-style home in a truck trailer in Hartford.
Credit Susan Campbell

Frequent WNPR guest and former Hartford Courant columnist Susan Campbell rode along with the Hartford Homeless Outreach Team early on Thursday morning. She works for Partnership for Strong Communities, which is working to end homelessness.

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Data
10:13 am
Thu December 19, 2013

Incomes Across Connecticut: Poorest in City Centers; Flush in Fairfield County

Credit WNYC

An interactive map showing median household incomes in neighborhoods across the U.S. shows that Connecticut is poorest in its urban centers, and wealthiest in Fairfield County. The numbers come from the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey Five-Year Estimates, assembled elegantly by the data news team at WNYC.

Food Assistance
3:11 pm
Wed November 27, 2013

Food Pantry Demand Linked to Benefit Cuts

Federal stimulus funds that supported SNAP benefits ran out on November 1, and area food pantries have seen an increase in demand.
Credit Rick Reinhard / Creative Commons

Connecticut’s food pantries and soup kitchens continue to see rising numbers of people in need of food assistance. Nancy Carrington is president of the Connecticut Food Bank. She said though there’s been slight improvement in job growth in the state, its not affecting people at the lower end of the pay scale.

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Food Assistance
11:29 am
Sun November 17, 2013

See How Food Stamp Cuts Are Hitting Across The U.S.

Screen grab of a map that shows hard numbers about who's getting hit by food stamp cuts.
Stateline

Originally published on Mon November 18, 2013 4:20 pm

When you think of Oregon and food, you probably think organic chicken, kale chips and other signs of a strong local food movement. What probably doesn't come to mind? Food stamps.

And yet, 21 percent of Oregon's population – that's one out of every five residents – relies on food stamps to get by. And like many people across the country, these Oregon families who have come to rely on federal food assistance program for meals are learning to make do with less as of this month.

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Energy Assistance
2:14 pm
Fri November 15, 2013

Fuel Affordability Gap Widens

Patricia Wrice of Operation Fuel.
Credit CT-N

The gap between fuel prices and what low-income people can afford to pay to heat their homes in Connecticut has more than tripled in recent years. Operation Fuel, the nonprofit which provides energy assistance to thousands of households in the state, said the number of residents in need is growing. 

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Hunger
12:07 pm
Tue October 1, 2013

1 In 8 Suffers From Chronic Hunger Globally, U.N. Report Says

Schoolgirls eat a free midday meal in Hyderabad, India, last month. India has offered such meals since the 1960s to persuade impoverished parents to send their children to school. A U.N. report released Tuesday finds modest progress in the worldwide fight against chronic hunger.
Mahesh Kumar A. AP

Originally published on Tue October 1, 2013 1:17 pm

Worldwide, roughly 1 in 8 people suffered from chronic hunger from 2011 to 2013, according to a new report from three U.N. food agencies.

They concluded that 842 million people didn't get enough food to lead healthy lives in that period, a slight drop from the 868 million in the previous report.

The modest change was attributed to several factors, from economic growth in developing countries to investments in agriculture. And in some countries, people have benefited from money sent home by migrant workers. But the gains were unevenly distributed, the report's authors say.

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A Real Living Wage
8:52 pm
Sun September 22, 2013

Episode 487: The Trouble With The Poverty Line

Marion Matthew supports herself and her son in New York City on $23,000 a year. According to the government, she does not live in poverty.
Pam Fessler NPR

Originally published on Fri September 20, 2013 8:48 pm

  • Listen to the Episode

According to the government, there are 46.5 million Americans who live below the poverty line. In other words, that's how many people are officially poor. But pretty much everyone who studies poverty agrees: The way we arrive at this figure is completely wrong.

On today's show, we figure out how we got here, why still measure poverty in a way that so many people agree is wrong, and how could we do it better.

For more, see our stories:

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Food Stamps
7:12 pm
Thu September 19, 2013

House Votes To Slash $40 Billion From Food Stamp Program

A woman and her daughter shop for groceries in New York City's Union Square using electronic benefits transfer (EBT), more commonly known as food stamps, on Wednesday.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 19, 2013 8:51 pm

The Republican-controlled House of Representatives voted Thursday to slash $40 billion from the federal food stamp program.

GOP lawmakers cited what they said was widespread abuse of the program, formally known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, which is intended to help poor individuals and families buy groceries.

The vote to cut food stamps came on a party line vote of 217-200.

"It's wrong for working, middle-class people to pay" for abuse of the program, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said.

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Food Stamps
6:47 am
Thu September 19, 2013

Fight Over Food Stamps Reveals Sharp Differences in Congress

U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro opposes shrinking the federal food stamp program.
Credit Ana Radelat / The Connecticut Mirror

Congress is heading into a major fight over food stamps. The battle highlights sharp ideological differences over a program that helps to feed about 220,000 people in Connecticut.

Conservative House Republicans, especially members of the Tea Party, say the food stamp program has become bloated and discourages people from finding jobs. They propose cutting $40 billion over the next decade from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, the official name for food stamps.

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U.S. Economy
12:16 am
Tue August 27, 2013

A College Kid, A Single Mom, And The Problem With The Poverty Line

Marion Matthew is a home health aide supporting herself and her 17-year-old son.
Pam Fessler NPR

Originally published on Tue August 27, 2013 5:02 am

The College Kid

Rico Saccoccio is a junior at Fordham University in the Bronx. He's from a middle-class family in Connecticut and he spent the summer living at home with his parents, who cover about $15,000 a year in his college costs.

According to the U.S. government, Saccoccio is living in poverty. The $8,000 he earns doing odd jobs puts him well below the $11,945 poverty threshold for an individual. In fact, the U.S. Census Bureau recently reported that more than half of all college students who are living off campus and not at home are poor.

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Where We Live
9:52 am
Tue May 21, 2013

A Secret In The Suburbs

Eduardo Mueses, Flickr Creative Commons

Poverty is a problem you tend to think of affecting very urban and very rural areas of America. But a new Brookings study shows a shocking fact: that over the last decade, the poor population in the suburbs has grown by about 60 percent. That national trend follows the same path as local metro areas are seeing, and the numbers aren’t just due to the effects of the economic downturn.  

We explore that subject and check in with Elaine Zimmerman from the Connecticut Commission on Children to see what the impact of all this is on Connecticut’s kids.

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Where We Live
10:24 am
Wed February 20, 2013

Hyper-Local Aid To Africa

Chion Wolf

The idea ‘For what you pay to feed your cat, you can save lives in my country.’ That...set a fire under Quinnipiac Professor Dennis Richardson.

He works in remote villages in Cameroon to aid a community of about 1,000 people.

On the opposite side of Africa, student and faculty of the University of Hartford are helping remote farmers create sustainable agriculture businesses in rural Kenya.

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Where We Live
10:37 am
Fri January 27, 2012

El Sistema

Emily Moran

Thousands of children struggling against poverty find hope - and the path to a better life - through classical music.

Its not some pipedream...but a very real and inspiring story of El Sistema - The System: a music phenomenon in Venezuela that’s touched the lives of hundreds of thousands of kids and captured the attention of the world.

Today, we talk with the author of a book about El Sistema. We’ll also speak with educators who are using music to transform the lives of students right here in Connecticut.

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Where We Live
10:41 am
Wed January 25, 2012

A Look at Homelessness

davco9200, creative commons

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Education Reform
9:59 am
Tue December 27, 2011

Urban School Superintendents Describe Dire Fiscal Realities

Bridgeport’s Board of Education has appointed Paul Vallas, interim superintendent, part of the state’s takeover of the struggling school system. Vallas is a nationally recognized education reformer who’s spearheaded turnaround efforts in Chicago, Philadelphia and New Orleans. 

Departing Bridgeport superintendent John Ramos joined a panel of school leaders earlier this month to talk about the effect of inadequate education funding on disadvantaged students. 

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Where We Live
10:34 am
Tue November 15, 2011

Poverty in the Suburbs

Chion Wolf

By the end of  2010, over 15 percent of the nation’s population lived below the federal poverty line— that's just over $22 thousand dollars for a family of four.

Over a ten-year span, the US saw the poor population grow by 12.3 million, driving the total number of Americans in poverty to a historic high of 46.2 million.

...and the number of those poor people living in the suburbs increased by 25%. New research from the Brookings Institute explores how poverty is shifting from inner cities to the suburbs.

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Housing
9:04 am
Thu July 7, 2011

Dallas Tests Where Section 8 Recipients May Live

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, host:

In this country we could see some changes in a government housing program known as Section 8. Critics have complained that this subsidized rent program gives recipients enough money to live in poor, minority neighborhoods, but not enough money to live anywhere else. Now the Department of Housing and Urban Development is rethinking the way it calculates rent payments.

The city of Dallas has been testing these changes and Jeff Cohen from member station WNPR has this report.

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Where We Live
10:24 am
Wed June 1, 2011

Smart Giving

We give billions to charity every year, but are we actually solving the world’s problems? When we look at the programs meant to fight global poverty and disease, we tend to see two poles...either we just need more money thrown into the aid programs we now have, or we realize that all these billions are just going down the drain.

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The Faith Middleton Show
10:46 am
Tue May 31, 2011

Overcoming Tough Times Financially

Our roller coaster economy has been a leveler - throwing the formerly rich and lower income people into the same basket. We thought we'd talk about debt, credit cards and bankruptcy with Mitchell Allen, author of A Survival Guide to Debt. He has been a debt counselor to many.

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Where We Live
10:23 am
Tue February 8, 2011

Portraits of Homelessness

Chion Wolf, WNPR

Recent reports show a 3% increase of people in shelters in Connecticut from 2009 to 2010. Of this population, more than half of all families and 40% of single adults in shelters report being homeless for first time  And in these harsh winter months, even overflow homeless shelters are overflowing. 

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