Special Interests Groups and Political Participation

Essay by Katherine Cruz June 2004

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Special Interest

As children growing up we learn to fight hunger from our parents and schools. The schools would announce a hunger drive, typically around the holidays and parents would give their children a couple of cans of corn to bring to school and for most of us, that was the extent of our contribution to the fight against hunger.

We need to do more. The fight against hunger should not stop within the walls of our schools. It begins with each individual person, one can at a time and with the help of communities around the nation we can achieve the fight against hunger.

Approximately 16.2% of children in the U.S. live in poverty (U.S. Census Bureau, Poverty in the United States: 2000, Current Population Reports, September 2001). The U.S. child poverty rate is higher than that of most other industrialized nations.

In 2000, slightly more than half of all food stamp recipients were children.

About 68% of these children were school age. Most of the food stamp households with children were headed by single adults, with half of these households receiving cash assistance in addition to food stamp benefits. (United State Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service, Characteristics of Food Stamp Households: Fiscal Year 2000, October 2001).

The target demographic area of this report is in the state of Connecticut. According to the U.S. Census Bureau the Percent of Persons in Poverty by in the state of Connecticut in 2000, 2001, and 2002 is a follows:

2000 - 2001 (2-year average) 7.5%

2001 - 2002 (2-year average) 7.8%

2000 - 2002 (3-year average) 7.8%

Arkansas was listed as the highest at 18%, the lowest is New Hampshire at 5.6%.

Democratic Process

The Connecticut Public Interest Research Group (ConnPIRG) is a special interest group that...