A 21st Century Journalism Project

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Her Wit’s End

In People on May 1, 2012 at 2:21 pm

By Chris Hruska

In this video, I interviewed Sherri Eckstein. Mrs. Eckstein invited me into her home to discuss the conditions of the working poor of America. She shared her experiences, view points and provided an in-depth look into what is becoming one of the largest problems in America, the growing number of working poor.

I shot this as a day-in-the-life of Mrs. Eckstein. She explains her job and the struggles associated with it for her and her husband. She also explains how life has changed for them due to the financial condition of the economy.  Such as the price of gas keeping them from going out and doing things.  Mrs. Eckstein states that she only goes to work and home because of the gas prices.

Mrs. Eckstein talks about how her and her husband applied for food stamps but were ineligible due to various financial conditions they did not meet.  As a result, they were forced to eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for months.

Mrs. Eckstein’s story is not far reaching or a rare occurrence.  It is a story that effects nearly 14 million Americans everyday.



Feeding Food Banks

In Organizations on April 4, 2012 at 10:36 pm



In this video, I explored the aspect of how food banks receive their food donations.  Food banks help to support the working poor and others in need of assistance.  I searched out to find out what supports the food banks.  With my search, I focused on a privately own Pittsburgh grocery company, McGinnis Sisters Special Food Stores.  Tony Titani, the store manager of the Seven Fields branch, sat down to discuss how McGinnis Sisters determines which products to donate and when.  Also discussed, is the process of how the donations are actually delivered to the food bank.  McGinnis Sisters donates weekly to the Light House Foundation and the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank which hosts the Three Rivers Table program.  Last year alone, McGinnis Sisters donated over 12,000 pounds of food to the Greater Pittsburgh Food Bank.

A Daily Struggle

In Defining The Problem on March 1, 2012 at 1:15 am


Everyday 21 million Americans get up, go to work and at the end of the week they collect a paycheck which barely supports them and their family.  Yet, with the rising costs of living and low paying jobs the number of working poor in America continues to climb.

Harvard anthropologist Katherine Newman defined working poor in her book, No Shame in My Game, as “people who toil year-round and either fail to pull above the poverty line or struggle to make ends meet just above it.”  Job growth is not the issue.  It’s the type Read the rest of this entry »