Poverty

Economy
5:29 pm
Sun April 22, 2012

Poverty In America: Defining The New Poor

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.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Mon April 23, 2012 10:50 am

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.

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Latin America
5:06 pm
Mon April 16, 2012

Panama Booms While Poor Watch From Afar

Tourists visit the San Felipe neighborhood in Panama City in December 2011. Panama is experiencing record economic growth, but many fear the benefits aren't trickling down to the poor.
Rodrigo Arangua AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon April 16, 2012 6:12 pm

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.

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The Salt
5:11 pm
Mon April 9, 2012

Now On The Menu For Hungry Kids: Supper At School

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.
Charlie Riedel AP

Originally published on Tue April 10, 2012 1:34 pm

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."

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Education
2:44 pm
Tue April 3, 2012

Under Scrutiny, Some Head Start Programs In Limbo

President Obama plays with children at a Head Start center in Yeadon, Pa. The Obama administration is requiring some Head Start programs to compete for continued federal funding.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue April 3, 2012 11:05 pm

The Obama administration is calling for major changes in Head Start, the 46-year-old early childhood education program that helped launch President Johnson's War on Poverty.

President Obama says too many children today aren't learning, and too many education programs are mismanaged.

"We're not just going to put money into programs that don't work," the president announced late last year. "We will take money and put it into programs that do."

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NH News
8:23 am
Tue April 3, 2012

More Cuts Threaten Legal Services for the Poor

The most recent State budget slashed funding for legal services for the poor. Last week, the House passed a bill that would put even more aid at risk.

The legislation would change how something called IOLTA works.

IOLTA stands for ‘Interest on Lawyers Trust Accounts’.

When a client hands money over to a lawyer for a short period of time, say, while a real estate deal is being closed, the lawyer puts the money into a pooled account. That account earns interest.

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U.S.
5:33 pm
Thu March 8, 2012

House Committee Urges Action On Food Stamp Fraud

One USDA official credits the use of plastic benefit cards with helping to reduce federal food stamp fraud. But lawmakers say that isn't enough.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Thu March 8, 2012 6:11 pm

With more than 46 million recipients, the food stamp program has become one of the government's biggest benefit programs.

It has also become one of the biggest targets for those who think the federal government isn't doing enough to prevent fraud.

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Giving Matters
12:00 am
Sat March 3, 2012

Cross Roads House

Mohd Hafizuddin Husin via Flickr/Creative Commons

Joe and Carrie were out of work and had run out of money. They had been living in a motel room with their two young daughters. The Crossroads House homeless shelter has helped them get back on track.

JOE: I was teaching in Maine part-time and suddenly there was no more work. So I said to my wife “let’s see what New Hampshire has - substitute teaching and stuff like that." We lost our place where we were living and we were living in a motel.

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StateImpact
11:44 am
Fri February 24, 2012

Thirty Years Of Low Child And Senior Poverty In NH

Originally published on Fri February 24, 2012 11:44 am

We’re all about cool maps at StateImpact, and we just couldn’t resist sharing this one on the changing face of child and senior poverty over the past 30 years.  Demographer Kenneth Johnson at the Carsey Institute recently crunched some 2010 Census data, and working with a team at

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Word of Mouth - Segment
12:02 pm
Tue February 14, 2012

Is Raspberry Pi a low-cost computer breakthrough?

As zealous consumers know, the sleek look and user-friendly feel of Apple’s high-end gadgets are big part of their sticker price. One man is rethinking form and function with a tiny, inexpensive, bare-bones computer called the Raspberry Pi …which he hopes will bring the power of programming to even the poorest corners of the globe. Eben Upton is the creator of the miniature machine – he’s also founder of the Raspberry Pi foundation.

Here's video of the Raspberry Pi in action:

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Africa
4:27 pm
Tue February 7, 2012

In Morocco, The Arab Spring's Mixed Bounty

Relatives of Abdelwahab Zaydoun, a 27-year-old Moroccan who set himself on fire to protest his unemployment and died from his burns, react to his death in Casablanca last month. A year after street protests in Morocco prompted some reforms, Moroccans remain discontent with the gap between rich and poor, and the slow strides toward democracy.
Abdeljalil Bounhar AP

Originally published on Tue February 7, 2012 6:26 pm

If you're looking for the reasons for unrest in Morocco, you can find some answers while zipping along in a golf cart at a resort in the historic town of Marrakech.

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The Exchange
12:00 am
Mon February 6, 2012

Pondering Poverty in America

Tough Times
Photo: Voluntary Amputation via FLickr / Creative Commons

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.

Guests:

Beth Mattingly: Director of Research on Vulnerable Families at the Carsey Institute and Professor of Sociology at the University of New Hampshire.

NH News
5:45 pm
Wed October 26, 2011

Economy Stresses N.H. Food Safety Net

Dan Gorenstein NHPR

Around the country soup kitchens and food pantries are reporting a spike in demand. Here in New Hampshire, food bank officials say they can’t keep up with requests for help. The state’s food assistance safety net is showing signs of serious strain. 

Things started to change for Christopher Persall sometime this summer.

“It goes from you being able to eat meats, fruits and vegetables and dessert to now there are days where there are some vegetables and some breads.”

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NH News
12:00 am
Tue October 11, 2011

State Braces for Cut to Fuel Aid

It’s that time of year when people light fires in the morning, or see their tomatoes glazed in frost. It won’t be much longer before the real cold comes. Last year, some 45,000 families around New Hampshire received some help paying their heating bills. But this winter, all signs point to a cut in federal fuel assistance.

The math is pretty simple, says Mark Wolfe with the National Energy Assistance Directors’ Association.

“At this point both the House and Senate both call for a cut of about $1 billion dollars.”

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NH News
12:00 pm
Thu January 7, 2010

Mormons in New Hampshire Fall Back on the Church When Needed

During these tough economic times people often turn to churches, synagogues and other faith-based organizations for help. Maybe the church runs a shelter, maybe congregants cook food for a family, maybe the temple has a clothing drive.

But while communities of faith will do what they can to help their members and others in the community, few are as well-organized as the Mormon church.

NHPR Correspondent Sheryl Rich-Kern has the story.

Sound of door opening, Kirsta saying hello, hi, how are you, come on in, fade under

Krista’s apartment is a little cramped.

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