Pam Fessler http://wvasfm.org en Rep. Ryan Unveils His Anti-Poverty Plan, A Rebuke To LBJ Programs http://wvasfm.org/post/paul-ryan-unveils-his-anti-poverty-plan-rebuke-lbj-programs For much of this year, Republicans have talked about finding new ways to get Americans out of poverty but have offered few specifics — until now.<p>House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan unveiled his plan Thursday to fight poverty, which he says will help fix safety-net programs that he calls fragmented and ineffective.<p>Here are the highlights of Ryan's plan:<p><ul><p><li>Allow states to experiment with federal aid, by merging things like food stamps, child care and welfare into what he calls an "Opportunity Grant."</li><p><li>Expand tax credits for working adults.</li><p><li>Make it easi Thu, 24 Jul 2014 21:52:00 +0000 Pam Fessler 51992 at http://wvasfm.org Rep. Ryan Unveils His Anti-Poverty Plan, A Rebuke To LBJ Programs Summer Program For Hungry Kids Gets Creative With Food Delivery http://wvasfm.org/post/summer-program-hungry-kids-gets-creative-food-delivery More than 21 million children get free or reduced priced meals during the school year. But in the summer, that number drops to only three million.<p>The big question is what happens to all the other children. Do they get enough, and the right food, to eat?<p>This summer, government agencies and <a href="http://www.ymca.net/summer-food-program">non-profit groups</a> are making a massive push to get millions of meals to kids who might otherwise go hungry as part of the nationwide <a href="http://www.fns.usda.gov/sfsp/summer-food-service-program-sfsp">summer nutrition program</a>. Wed, 23 Jul 2014 21:17:00 +0000 Pam Fessler 51923 at http://wvasfm.org Summer Program For Hungry Kids Gets Creative With Food Delivery How Banning One Question Could Help Ex-Offenders Land A Job http://wvasfm.org/post/how-banning-one-question-could-help-ex-offenders-land-job Washington, D.C., is expected to join four states and several cities soon in prohibiting companies from asking job applicants — up front — if they have a criminal record.<p>It's part of a growing movement called Ban the Box, a reference to that box on a job application form that asks, "Have you ever been convicted of a crime?"<p>Advocates for the laws say having to check the box prevents many ex-offenders from getting a fair shot at a job.<p>Chearie Phelps-El says it happened to her. Mon, 14 Jul 2014 07:28:00 +0000 Pam Fessler 51358 at http://wvasfm.org How Banning One Question Could Help Ex-Offenders Land A Job Charitable Giving Nears Pre-Recession Levels, Annual Report Shows http://wvasfm.org/post/charitable-giving-nears-pre-recession-levels-annual-report-shows Transcript <p>LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST: <p>NPR's Business News starts with giving on the rise. Americans last year gave $335 billion to charity. That's according to a new report released today by the Giving USA Foundation. That is close to the levels of donation before the recession. NPR's Pam Fessler reports.<p>PAM FESSLER, BYLINE: After the recession, experts predicted it would take many years - maybe even a decade - for charitable giving to get back to where it was before the economic downturn. Tue, 17 Jun 2014 09:33:00 +0000 Pam Fessler 49862 at http://wvasfm.org Economic Upswing Has Fewer Americans Receiving Food Stamps http://wvasfm.org/post/economic-upswing-has-fewer-americans-receiving-food-stamps Critics of the food stamp program have been alarmed in recent years by its rapid growth. Last year, about 1 in 7 people in the U.S. received food stamps, or SNAP benefits, as they're called. That's almost 48 million people, a record high.<p>But the numbers <a href="http://www.fns.usda.gov/pd/supplemental-nutrition-assistance-program-snap">have started</a> to drop. In February, the last month for which figures were available, 1.6 million fewer people received food stamps than at the peak in December 2012, according to the U.S. Thu, 29 May 2014 21:30:00 +0000 Pam Fessler 48909 at http://wvasfm.org Economic Upswing Has Fewer Americans Receiving Food Stamps Lack Of Affordable Housing Puts The Squeeze On Poor Families http://wvasfm.org/post/lack-affordable-housing-puts-squeeze-poor-families The U.S. is in the midst of what Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan calls the "worst rental affordability crisis" ever. Poor families are being hit the hardest: An overwhelming majority spend more than half of their incomes on rent. Tue, 27 May 2014 07:23:00 +0000 Pam Fessler 48709 at http://wvasfm.org Lack Of Affordable Housing Puts The Squeeze On Poor Families Poverty, A Frustrating Mix Of Bad Choices And Bad Luck http://wvasfm.org/post/poverty-frustrating-mix-bad-choices-and-bad-luck Stories about poverty can evoke strong reactions, in part because Americans are conflicted about the topic. Both bad circumstances and bad choices can be the cause. Sun, 18 May 2014 11:37:00 +0000 Pam Fessler 48250 at http://wvasfm.org The Changing Picture Of Poverty: Hard Work Is 'Just Not Enough' http://wvasfm.org/post/changing-picture-poverty-hard-work-just-not-enough There are 46 million poor people in the U.S., and millions more hover right above the poverty line — but go into many of their homes, and you might find a flat-screen TV, a computer or the latest sneakers.<p>And that raises a question: What does it mean to be poor in America today?<p>Take Victoria Houser, a 22-year-old single mother who lives in Painted Post, a small town in western New York. At first glance, her life doesn't look all that bad. She lives in a cozy two-bedroom apartment. She has food, furniture and toys for her almost 2-year-old son, Brayden. Wed, 07 May 2014 07:34:00 +0000 Pam Fessler 47603 at http://wvasfm.org The Changing Picture Of Poverty: Hard Work Is 'Just Not Enough' As States Vote In Primaries, Voter ID Laws Come Under Scrutiny http://wvasfm.org/post/states-vote-primaries-voter-id-laws-come-under-scrutiny Three states are holding primaries Tuesday, and voters might understandably be confused over what kind of identification they need to show at the polls.<p>In Indiana, it has to be a government-issued photo ID. In Ohio, you can get by with a utility bill. In North Carolina, you won't need a photo ID until 2016. But that law, along with ID laws in many other states, faces an uncertain future.<p>"We have Florida, Georgia, Indiana," says Wendy Underhill, of the National Conference of State Legislatures. Tue, 06 May 2014 20:03:00 +0000 Pam Fessler 47580 at http://wvasfm.org As States Vote In Primaries, Voter ID Laws Come Under Scrutiny Finding A More Nuanced View Of Poverty's 'Black Hole' http://wvasfm.org/post/finding-more-nuanced-view-povertys-black-hole Ask Anne Valdez what poverty means for her, and her answer will describe much more than a simple lack of money.<p>"It's like being stuck in a black hole," says Valdez, 47, who is unemployed and trying to raise a teenage son in Coney Island, New York City. Wed, 02 Apr 2014 10:16:00 +0000 Pam Fessler 45664 at http://wvasfm.org