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Kids in St. Pete can get free breakfast and lunch all summer long listen

06/18/14 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday
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Tags: free lunch, nutrition, food, hunger, poverty, St. Petersburg, free

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The city of St. Petersburg has rolled out a program to feed kids for free this summer. The Free Summer Food Program provides both breakfast and lunch at city-owned properties across St. Pete. Alexis Shuder is with the Parks and Recreation Department.

"The city of St. Petersburg parks and recreation department is sponsoring summer food service program which is through the state's program through the department of agriculture at our play camp sites for June, July and August this summer. It'...

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$15 minimum wage debate hits St. Pete listen

06/17/14 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Tuesday
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Tags: Rick Kriseman, unions, minimum wage, living wage, poverty, Fight for Fifteen

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A union in St. Pete is trying to get the city to pay its workers at least $15 an hour. That would affect more than 300 city employees – some of whom make only about $9. Brian Brehm is a mechanic at one of the city’s sewage treatment plants.

“What about these poor guys who are out working in the sun all day long keeping our city beautiful and they’re living below the poverty level making $9.50 an hour, maybe a little bit more, really isn’t anything to live on.”

Brehm already makes more ...

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East Tampa showing signs of improvement listen

06/10/14 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Tuesday
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Tags: CDC of Tampa, Corporation to Develop Communities, East Tampa, poverty, blight, economic development

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East Tampa is one of the city’s most impoverished areas. A group formed in the early 90’s is trying to change that. Leaders with the Corporation to Develop Communities of Tampa took volunteers on a tour Tuesday showcasing its accomplishments. Several former and current participants in youth programs talked about the changes it made to their lives.

“I was given hope which I really needed at that point in my life.”

That’s Maria Del Mar Rodriguez.

“I was able to get my own place. I f...

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Hillsborough homeless count now includes teens and young adults listen

02/27/14 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday
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Tags: homeless, Tampa Hillsborough Homeless Initiative, Sandra Murman, poverty, homeless count, Lesa Weikel

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Volunteers are taking to the streets in Hillsborough throughout Thursday to tally the county’s homeless population. But this year the Tampa Hillsborough Homeless Initiative is expanding its search to what they call unaccompanied youth between 16 and 24 years old. Lesa Weikel is the community relations manager for that group.

“They’ve been kicked out of their house. Sometimes it’s because of sexuality. Sometimes they leave because of abuse. It’s almost always family issues, but they find ...

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Midtown St. Pete sheds its "food desert" label with Wal-Mart grand opening listen

01/29/14 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday
Listen to this entire show: listen to this show

Tags: Wal-Mart, Midtown St. Pete, St. Petersburg, poverty, food desert

Up until today, Midtown St. Petersburg, one of the city’s poorest neighborhoods, was what people call a food desert.

But at about 7:30 this morning a Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market opened its doors for shoppers – many of whom lack transportation to travel outside of the area for fresh food and were forced to make many food purchases from over-priced convenience stores.

St. Pete City Council member Wengay Newton whose district covers part of Midtown celebrated the Grand Opening early this ...

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Nation reporter talks poverty & Discussion surrounding Ani DiFranco's Nottoway Plantation controversy listen

01/09/14 Mary Glenney
From A Woman's Point of View
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Tags: poverty, Zoe Carpenter, Nottoway Plantation, Adele Stan, Ani DiFranco

This week on a Woman's Point of View the following topics were covered:

Zoe Carpenter

Congress is back in session and there are important issues that need to be examined. Zoe Carpenter a reporter in The Nation's Washington, DC bureau, has written for Rolling Stone, Guernica and the Poughkeepsie Journal. An Oregon native, Zoë studied writing and environmental politics at Vassar College. She will discuss some of what she considers the...

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Homeless in Tampa get a Day of Dignity listen

12/16/13 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Monday
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Tags: homeless, poverty, CAIR, charity

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People living on the streets and some of Tampa’s working poor were given supplies to help them get by this winter. The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) partnered with other local agencies at Julian B. Lane Riverfront Park just outside of downtown Sunday to offer health screenings, clothing and other necessities during Tampa’s first Day of Dignity.

“The services are there. They may not be able to reach out to them or go to these places. It’s good to have, it’s like all in one u...

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Pinellas grapples with how to fix homelessness among children listen

12/12/13 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday
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Tags: Juvenile Welfare Board, Pinellas County, Pinellas County Schools, homeless, poverty

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More than 3,000 kids in Pinellas County are listed as homeless. A group of government and non-government agencies met Thursday during a Juvenile Welfare Board meeting in Largo to combine resources in hopes of minimizing what is becoming an epidemic among struggling families. And Sarah Snyder, president and CEO of the Pinellas County Homeless Leadership Board, says that staggering number likely only represents elementary students.

“What we don’t know and have no real picture of is how many...

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Fight for Fifteen minimum wage push and how it relates to eating babies

12/06/13 Janelle Irwin
Last Call Friday
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Tags: minimum wage, Fight for Fifteen, poverty, Mike Long

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Activists across the nation are calling on a federal minimum wage hike to $15 an hour. Critics think that's too high, supporters say it's a livable wage. We take a look at what our listeners think.

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National workers' strike hits Tampa Dunkin' Donuts listen

12/05/13 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday
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Tags: Dunkin Donuts, minimum wage, wages, poverty, labor, unions, strike, Fast Food Strike

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Fast food workers in 100 cities across the country walked off their jobs Thursday as part of a national push to raise the federal minimum wage. Four Dunkin' Donuts employees told managers at a restaurant on East Busch Boulevard in Tampa they were going on strike until the franchise agreed to pay higher wages.

One of the workers is Brittany Wilkerson. She’s been working at that Dunkin' Donuts location for eight months making the federal minimum wage -- $7.79. But for two years prior to tha...

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