Pam Fessler http://kuow.org en Summer Program For Hungry Kids Gets Creative With Food Delivery http://kuow.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 38829 at http://kuow.org Summer Program For Hungry Kids Gets Creative With Food Delivery How Banning One Question Could Help Ex-Offenders Land A Job http://kuow.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 38164 at http://kuow.org How Banning One Question Could Help Ex-Offenders Land A Job A Campaign To House The Homeless Reaches A Milestone http://kuow.org/post/campaign-house-homeless-reaches-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="http://100khomes.org/" 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 36230 at http://kuow.org A Campaign To House The Homeless Reaches A Milestone Economic Upswing Has Fewer Americans Receiving Food Stamps http://kuow.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 21:37:00 +0000 Pam Fessler 35464 at http://kuow.org Economic Upswing Has Fewer Americans Receiving Food Stamps Lack Of Affordable Housing Puts The Squeeze On Poor Families http://kuow.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 35239 at http://kuow.org Lack Of Affordable Housing Puts The Squeeze On Poor Families Poverty, A Frustrating Mix Of Bad Choices And Bad Luck http://kuow.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 11:41:00 +0000 Pam Fessler 34683 at http://kuow.org One Family's Story Shows How The Cycle Of Poverty Is Hard To Break http://kuow.org/post/one-familys-story-shows-how-cycle-poverty-hard-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 21:06:00 +0000 Pam Fessler 34063 at http://kuow.org One Family's Story Shows How The Cycle Of Poverty Is Hard To Break The Changing Picture Of Poverty: Hard Work Is 'Just Not Enough' http://kuow.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 34010 at http://kuow.org The Changing Picture Of Poverty: Hard Work Is 'Just Not Enough' As States Vote In Primaries, Voter ID Laws Come Under Scrutiny http://kuow.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 33980 at http://kuow.org As States Vote In Primaries, Voter ID Laws Come Under Scrutiny Finding A More Nuanced View Of Poverty's 'Black Hole' http://kuow.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 31741 at http://kuow.org Voting Rights Fight Takes New Direction http://kuow.org/post/voting-rights-fight-takes-new-direction It's that time again, when primary voters start casting their ballots for the midterm elections. As in recent years, voters face new rules and restrictions, including the need in 16 states to show a photo ID.<p>But this year, some voting rights activists say they're seeing a change — <a href="http://www.ncsl.org/research/elections-and-campaigns/voter-id.aspx#Details">fewer new restrictions</a> and, in some places, even a hint of bipartisanship.<p>Although that wasn't the case last month in Ohio, when the Legislature voted along party lines to eliminate a week of early voting. Thu, 27 Mar 2014 21:05:00 +0000 Pam Fessler 31424 at http://kuow.org Voting Rights Fight Takes New Direction States' Rebellion Against Food Stamp Cuts Grows http://kuow.org/post/states-rebellion-against-food-stamp-cuts-grows When Congress passed a farm bill earlier this year, it expected to save $8.6 billion over 10 years by tightening what many say is a loophole in the food stamp, or SNAP, program. Thu, 13 Mar 2014 23:10:00 +0000 Pam Fessler 30500 at http://kuow.org States' Rebellion Against Food Stamp Cuts Grows In Crimea, Public Relations Can Be As Dangerous As Politics http://kuow.org/post/crimea-public-relations-can-be-dangerous-politics Transcript <p>MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: <p>From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.<p>ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: <p>And I'm Robert Siegel.<p>Crimea votes this coming Sunday on whether to claim independence from Ukraine. Polls indicate the measure is sure to pass. But pro-Russian politicians are leaving nothing to chance. Mon, 10 Mar 2014 20:22:00 +0000 Pam Fessler 30205 at http://kuow.org Groups Use Cash Prizes To Encourage Saving http://kuow.org/post/groups-use-cash-prizes-encourage-saving When it comes to getting ahead in the world, a lack of savings can be a big hurdle, especially for low-income families. Most don't have enough money set aside for emergencies, let alone for college or a house. Some people think the answer is to make savings more fun, like the lottery, with the chance to win big prizes.<p>It's called prize-linked savings, something that's been available in Great Britain for decades. Mon, 10 Mar 2014 20:22:00 +0000 Pam Fessler 30207 at http://kuow.org Groups Use Cash Prizes To Encourage Saving Can Exercising Seniors Help Revive A Brooklyn Neighborhood? http://kuow.org/post/can-exercising-seniors-help-revive-brooklyn-neighborhood The Brownsville neighborhood of Brooklyn, N.Y., is known for many things, among them huge public housing projects, extremely high poverty and crime. Last summer, a one-year-old boy was shot in the head and killed as he sat in a stroller in the neighborhood.<p>But that's one side of life in Brownsville. Sun, 23 Feb 2014 10:21:00 +0000 Pam Fessler 29273 at http://kuow.org Can Exercising Seniors Help Revive A Brooklyn Neighborhood?