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News stories tagged with "poverty"

Comlinks food distribution warehouse in Malone
Comlinks food distribution warehouse in Malone

Food gleaning program returns to its roots

It's been a tough year for the community action agency Comlinks in Malone. It made headlines in February when the former Comlinks director was indicted for theft. And now, its program to distribute to food pantries and soup kitchens is facing steep budget cuts from the state.

This week, Comlinks announced it will need to cut services, and will no longer be making food deliveries west of Massena.

Julie Grant recently visited the Comlinks food distribution warehouse in Malone, and found that the organization is trying to get back to its roots.  Go to full article
WW II-era barracks being demolished to make way for new housing. Photo: Army Corps of Engineers
WW II-era barracks being demolished to make way for new housing. Photo: Army Corps of Engineers

Ft. Drum housing crunch requires public investment

The buildup of Fort Drum near Watertown has made Jefferson County one of the fastest growing places in Upstate New York. But it's also created a shortage of rental houses for military families and for civilians.

The problem hasn't come to a head yet because soldiers are constantly rotating in and out of Iraq and Afghanistan. But as the U.S. draws down troop presence in the Middle East, the military population around Fort Drum is expected to swell.

Officials have been leading a public-private effort to build more housing for years. Joanna Richards reports now is crunch time.  Go to full article
Not only (are) summers tougher, but we're seeing just throughout the traditional year more need now than ever.

Food pantries gear up for a tough summer

The city of Watertown this week granted two food pantries' requests for special funding to buy more emergency food aid.

The pantries say they always see more need in summer, when children on free or reduced-price school breakfasts and lunches aren't getting those meals. As this summer approaches, the slow economy and rising costs means these nonprofit groups are struggling to keep up with increased demand. Joanna Richards has the story.  Go to full article
A Mom Prom preview in downtown Canton Wednesday.
A Mom Prom preview in downtown Canton Wednesday.

Silly for a serious cause

A group of women in Canton has organized a fundraiser for widows in Malawi, Africa next week.

The "Mom Prom" at the Best Western in Canton on Friday, June 10 will feature vintage prom dresses and long-forgotten bridesmaid gowns.

Organizer Tiffany Zook told Todd Moe that the event is for women of all ages. Money raised will benefit the Women of Grace Widows' Fund, which alleviates poverty and provides opportunities for widows in Malawi.  Go to full article

ComLinks blasted in state audit; DA investigation urged

A state audit is slamming the management of one of the North Country's largest non-profit social service agencies. A Comptroller's report released yesterday claims that ComLinks, headquartered in Malone, has suffered for years from mismanagement and nepotism.

The audit also alleges that former ComLinks CEO Nancy Reich diverted nearly $100,000 in funds for her private use.  Go to full article

Story 2.0: Job hunting "worse than ever"

Millions of Americans whose unemployment benefits have run out are breathing a sigh of relief. The Senate is poised to pass legislation today restoring the benefits. The measure would then go to the House for a final vote. It is expected to pass then go on to President Barack Obama later this week.

A continuing fear of social services folks is what happens when unemployment benefits do run out. The jobless rate still hovers around 10%, and that doesn't include people who have stopped looking for a job out of frustration. Last December, the staff at One Stop Career Center in Canton predicted "a tsunami of job seekers" this year. It turns out they were right. In our ongoing series Story 2.0, we'll revisit the One Stop Career Center. But first, here's an excerpt from David Sommerstein's story from last winter.  Go to full article
Robin and her daughter, Emma, visit a small village in Rwanda
Robin and her daughter, Emma, visit a small village in Rwanda

A helping hand in Rwanda

In our occasional series, Moving the World, we meet North Country people who take their skills, expertise and resources to share with communities around the globe. Robin Rhodes Crowell and her husband, David, own The World Artisan, in Potsdam. They sell fair trade items made by artists around the world. A visit by organizers of the group, The Ubushobozi Project, led to the shop selling cotton shoulder bags made by young women in Rwanda. But for Rhodes Crowell, selling the bags wasn't enough. This week, she and her daughter, Emma, are in northern Rwanda. Robin is using her entrepreneurial and gardening skills to help young women and teens break the cycle of poverty. Todd Moe spoke with her before the trip to Rwanda.  Go to full article
Tom Slater inside the Food Bank of CNY's warehouse.
Tom Slater inside the Food Bank of CNY's warehouse.

Story 2.0: In prolonged time of need, food bank still provides

As the unemployment rate in much of the North Country remains just under 10%, more families are struggling to put food on the table. Thousands of people live with food insecurity - that means at some point, they don't know where their next meal will come from. Demand at the region's food pantries and kitchens is up. But the Food Bank of Central NY says it's been planning for this kind of crisis for years, and it's still ready and able to fill the demand. Todd Moe and David Sommerstein revisit a story from 2008.  Go to full article

Theater rooted in real words

What started as a class project in college has turned into a theatrical production that illustrates the struggle against poverty. Todd Moe talks with Saranac Lake actor Donna Moschek about her dramatic work, "The Cost of Living." It explores poverty in the North Country based on interviews and her own personal experiences. She'll present three monologues from the piece at the Unitarian-Universalist Church in Canton this Sunday.  Go to full article

Home foreclosure worries grow in North Country

The North Country has managed to dodge the worst parts of the home-mortgage crisis that has devastated the country's economy. Foreclosures in this region haven't spiked as they have in other parts of the country. But some real estate experts say the souring economy and the growing number of lay-offs has begun to hit more homeowners. Brian Mann has our story.  Go to full article

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