poverty

When you were a kid, your mom probably insisted you eat breakfast before school.

Studies show she was right; students who eat breakfast do better academically. Still, many kids go without – especially those living in poverty.

Somewhere between a food pantry and a traditional grocery store lies an opportunity to help feed those in need.

Enter "social supermarkets," a European model that offers discounted food exclusively to those in poverty. The stores have grown in popularity across the continent, and this week, the U.K. opened its first. Dubbed Community Shop, the store is located in an impoverished former mining town in South Yorkshire.

The number of families on cash assistance in Washington has hit an all-time low. This follows a spike in welfare enrollment less than three years ago.

As we reported earlier this year, there are some big problems with the way poverty is measured in this country.

Ross Reynolds talks with Howard G. Buffet, son of financier Warren Buffet, who has recently published a book titled "40 Chances: Finding Hope in a Hungry World," which is about his quest to help those who lack food security all over the world under a tough, self-imposed deadline: 40 years.

Reductions To SNAP Puts Pressure On Food Banks

Nov 1, 2013

Steve Scher talks with Jeannie Falls, executive director of Pike Market Senior Center and Food Bank, about how SNAP reductions will affect food bank operations.

KUOW Photo/Amy Radil

In Washington state, food stamp recipients are being notified that their benefits will be reduced in November. Federal stimulus funding has provided a boost to benefits since 2009, but that funding just expired.

Lead in text: 
Sometimes, the people picking our food can't access healthy food, or enough, for themselves. From KQED and the Center for Investigative Reporting comes this piece on poverty.
More from KUOW

The US Census Bureau released numbers this week looking at poverty rates and wages across the US in 2012. Our local numbers reflect what’s happening around the country: the number of people living in poverty has stagnated and wages have stayed about the same.

At first glance, this may seem like good news, or even non-news. But the census numbers reveal a larger picture of what’s happening in the wake of the recession: that people in low and middle income brackets aren’t really experiencing a recovery.

Jennifer Romich is the director of the West Coast Poverty Center and an associate professor at the UW School of Social Work. She told KUOW's Marcie Sillman the "statistically insignificant" numbers from the Census Bureau paint a concerning picture of many people that are unable to get ahead financially.

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.

Washington’s judicial system abolished court fees for poor people in 2010, but county courts sought ways around the rule. Now in a unanimous decision, the Washington State Supreme Court has reaffirmed that if someone qualifies as indigent, courts need to give them access for free.

Peter Blair Henry
Courtesy/NYU

A handful of third-world countries have turned themselves around from numerous hardships in the past 30 years: China rose from seemingly hopeless poverty, Mexico bounced back from the Third World Debt Crisis, Brazil overcame hyperinflation. 

The King County Housing Authority has stopped issuing new Section 8 vouchers. The program is federally subsidized through the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The move is a result of the impending reduction in those funds due to sequestration.

Seattle Housing Authority

Watch out for scammers. That’s Seattle Housing Authority’s warning to people who are going online this week to apply for the city’s Section 8 housing lottery.  Agency officials caution that some misleading sites have been set up to  trick people into submitting their personal information to the wrong place.

Ed Yourdon / Flickr

In the pre-dawn hours this Friday, hundreds of volunteers will fan out across King County to look for people sleeping in alleys, parks, shopping centers and city busses. The effort  is part of the county’s annual One Night Count, which aims to get an annual head-count of people who are homeless.

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