Detroit’s declaration of bankruptcy this summer opened up the floodgates for stories of its decline. Documentary films, photo essays, and articles reveal a once-proud American city, home to world’s highest-paid workers and a strong middle class, as a shell of its former self. Some residents are finding hope among the abandoned neighborhoods, crumbling municipal buildings, and rusting car factories that made the motor city hum.
According to Oxfam, the world’s poor spend three-quarters of their income on food. A survey by Save the Children found that 24 percent of families in India, 27 percent in Nigeria and 14 percent in Peru now have foodless days. Pictured: A young girl in India cries for food.
In his first term, President Obama boosted Pell grants and reformed federal financial aid in hopes of increasing college access for low-income students. Despite these efforts, there is another problem preventing the less privileged from getting an education – a disconnect between poor families, and the arcane bureaucracy surrounding the admissions process.
New Hampshire has the lowest child poverty rate in the country. That’s according to new numbers released by the Census Bureau.
In the United States, the poverty line works out to less than $23,000 a year for a family of four—that means two parents and two children. And fewer than one out of eight New Hampshire kids are living below that line. That’s good news. But Carsey Institute researcher Jessica Bean says the same family of four with even twice that income—close to $46,000—is still struggling.
Recently we’ve seen dueling definitions of what it means to be poor. The U.S. Census Bureau came up with two figures, depending on whether factors like food stamps are included. And another study defined poverty as having scant resources. But some have long said that poverty figures are exaggerated and used for political purposes.
Beth Mattingly: Director of Research on Vulnerable Families at the Carsey Institute and Professor of Sociology at the University of New Hampshire.
President Clinton prepares to sign legislation overhauling America's welfare system at the White House Rose Garden on Aug. 22, 1996. Today, the ranks of the nation's poor have swelled to a record 46.2 million — nearly 1 in 6 Americans — as the prolonged pain of the recession leaves millions still struggling and out of work.
Welfare changes in the 1990s helped slash cash benefit rolls, yet the use of food stamps is soaring today. About 15 percent of Americans use food stamps. The program has become what some call the new welfare.
A big reason why is a deal struck between President Clinton and the Republican-controlled Congress in 1996. At that time, the number of Americans who received cash payments — what's often thought of as welfare — was at an all-time high.
The Central American nation of Panama is booming. Fueled by a multibillion-dollar expansion of the Panama Canal, a thriving banking industry and capital flight from Venezuela, the tiny nation has the highest economic growth rate in the hemisphere.
But even as the government builds a subway system and markets the country as a tropical paradise for multinational corporations, not everyone is sharing in the prosperity.
Students at Garfield Elementary School eat dinner as part of an after-school program in Kansas City, Mo. In the past few years, a federally subsidized school dinner program has spread from six to all 50 states.
Credit Sam Sanders / NPR
Kathleen Fiengo has worked in school cafeterias for 25 years, but only in the past year did she start cooking supper for kids at Nathan Hale Elementary in Manchester, Conn.
Not long after the start of the school year, Monique Sanders, a teacher at Nathan Hale Elementary School in Manchester, Conn., realized many of her students were going to bed hungry.
"It was very bad. I had parents calling me several times a week, asking did I know of any other way that they could get food because they had already gone to a food pantry," Sanders says. "The food pantry only allows you to go twice per month, so if you are running low on your food stamps or you didn't get what you needed and you're not able to feed your family, that's very stressful."