Pam Fessler en Summer Program For Hungry Kids Gets Creative With 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="">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="">summer nutrition program</a>. Wed, 23 Jul 2014 21:17:00 +0000 Pam Fessler 65189 at How Banning One Question Could Help Ex-Offenders Land A 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 64364 at A Campaign To House The Homeless Reaches A Milestone Mallyveen Teah, 53, has been homeless or couch surfing on and off for the past 25 years. Now, he walks from his job at a construction site in Arlington, Va., to his new home, a one-bedroom apartment.<p>"Something as simple as giving a person a set of keys to their own place makes a huge difference in terms of their outlook on life, the world," he says.<p>Teah is <a href="" target="_blank">part of a campaign launched by a nonprofit group</a> in New York four years ago to permanently house 100,000 homeless people. Wed, 11 Jun 2014 21:10:00 +0000 Pam Fessler 62333 at 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="">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 61669 at Lack Of Affordable Housing Puts The Squeeze On 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 61479 at Poverty, A Frustrating Mix Of 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 60933 at One Family's Story Shows How The Cycle Of Poverty Is Hard To Break Desiree Metcalf's story is heartbreaking, but among the 46 million Americans who are poor today, her story is not unique.<p>Metcalf is 24 years old.<p>She's the mother of three little girls — ages 6, 4 and 2. They all have different fathers.<p>"That about sums me up, I think," she says.<p>Metcalf is sitting on the floor of her two-bedroom apartment in the small town of Bath, in western New York. A fish tank gurgles in the background. A tiny kitten peeks out from under the furniture. Wed, 07 May 2014 21:11:00 +0000 Pam Fessler 60296 at The Changing Picture Of Poverty: Hard Work Is '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 60200 at As States Vote In 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 60177 at Finding A More Nuanced View Of Poverty's '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 57557 at