Pam Fessler http://news.stlpublicradio.org en Finding A More Nuanced View Of Poverty's 'Black Hole' http://news.stlpublicradio.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 34939 at http://news.stlpublicradio.org Voting Rights Fight Takes New Direction http://news.stlpublicradio.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 34797 at http://news.stlpublicradio.org Voting Rights Fight Takes New Direction In Appalachia, Poverty Is In The Eye Of The Beholder http://news.stlpublicradio.org/post/appalachia-poverty-eye-beholder <em>President Lyndon B. Johnson went to eastern Kentucky in 1964 to promote his War on Poverty. But when he did, he opened a wound that remains raw today. People in the region say they're tired of always being depicted as poor, so when NPR's Pam Fessler went to Appalachia to report on how the War on Poverty is going, she was warned that people would be reluctant to talk. Instead, she got an earful. </em><p>Lee Mueller has lived in Martin County, Ky., for much of his life, and he covered President Johnson's visit there as a young reporter. Sat, 18 Jan 2014 15:38:00 +0000 Pam Fessler 33113 at http://news.stlpublicradio.org Coal-Mining Area Grapples With How To Keep 'Bright Young Minds' http://news.stlpublicradio.org/post/coal-mining-area-grapples-how-keep-bright-young-minds <em>Fifty years ago today, President Lyndon Johnson stood before Congress and declared an "unconditional war on poverty in America." His arsenal included new programs: Medicaid, Medicare, Head Start, food stamps, more spending on education and tax cuts to help create jobs.</em><p><em>In the coming year, NPR will explore the impact and extent of poverty in the U.S., and what can be done to reduce it.</em><p>When President Johnson waged war against poverty in 1964, he traveled to Martin County, Ky., an Appalachian coal-mining region with a poverty rate of more than 60 percent, to promote his cam Wed, 08 Jan 2014 22:38:00 +0000 Pam Fessler 32867 at http://news.stlpublicradio.org Coal-Mining Area Grapples With How To Keep 'Bright Young Minds' Loophole Or Workaround? (Food Stamp Edition) http://news.stlpublicradio.org/post/food-stamp-program-be-cut-how-much In the debate over whether to cut the food stamp program, members of Congress are looking at two pretty arcane provisions in the law. People who want to cut food stamps call the provisions loopholes. People who don't want to cut food stamps say they're efficient ways to get benefits to those who need them most.<p><strong>1. Categorical Eligibility</strong><p>People who qualify for one means-tested program — like welfare — can automatically qualify for other programs — like food stamps. This is called "categorical eligibility."<p>Jessica Shahin, who oversees the food stamp program at the U.S. Wed, 04 Dec 2013 10:03:00 +0000 Pam Fessler 31933 at http://news.stlpublicradio.org Loophole Or Workaround? (Food Stamp Edition) I Applied For An Online Payday Loan. Here's What Happened Next http://news.stlpublicradio.org/post/i-applied-online-payday-loan-heres-what-happened-next Payday lenders made about $49 billion in high-interest loans last year. More than a third of those loans were made online. I wondered what happens when you apply for such a loan, so I decided to find out.<p>In the course of reporting a story earlier this year, I logged on to a site called <a href="etaxloan.com">eTaxLoan.com</a> and filled out an application.<p>I asked for $500 and, to be safe, I made up an address, a name (Mary) and a Social Security number. Wed, 06 Nov 2013 08:04:00 +0000 Pam Fessler 31199 at http://news.stlpublicradio.org I Applied For An Online Payday Loan. Here's What Happened Next The Poverty Rate Ignores Programs That Fight Poverty http://news.stlpublicradio.org/post/poverty-rate-ignores-programs-fight-poverty New U.S. poverty numbers come out on Tuesday. But what, exactly, do those numbers measure?<p>Consider the case of Ann Valdez. She's a 47-year-old single mom who lives in an apartment in Brooklyn with her teenage son. She doesn't have a job. She gets a cash payment of about $130 every two weeks from the government. That's all that's counted for her income in the government's poverty measure.<p>But Valdez also gets $367 a month in food stamps. The government pays $283 a month for her apartment, which she says would rent for $1,100 or so on the open market. Mon, 16 Sep 2013 21:15:00 +0000 Pam Fessler 29952 at http://news.stlpublicradio.org The Poverty Rate Ignores Programs That Fight Poverty A College Kid, A Single Mom, And The Problem With The Poverty Line http://news.stlpublicradio.org/post/college-kid-single-mom-and-problem-poverty-line <strong>The College Kid</strong><p>Rico Saccoccio is a junior at Fordham University in the Bronx. He's from a middle-class family in Connecticut and he spent the summer living at home with his parents, who cover about $15,000 a year in his college costs.<p>According to the U.S. government, Saccoccio is living in poverty. The $8,000 he earns doing odd jobs puts him well below the $11,945 poverty threshold for an individual. In fact, the U.S. Tue, 27 Aug 2013 04:16:00 +0000 Pam Fessler 29411 at http://news.stlpublicradio.org A College Kid, A Single Mom, And The Problem With The Poverty Line Tucson Food Bank Helps The Needy Grow Their Own Food http://news.stlpublicradio.org/post/tucson-food-bank-helps-needy-grow-their-own-food Food banks around the country face growing demand, despite improvements in the economy. Many families are still underemployed and struggling. So some food banks are looking for more permanent ways to address hunger, beyond handing out food.<p>One of them is the <a href="http://www.communityfoodbank.org">Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona</a>, based in Tucson. Among the many programs it runs is Las Milpitas de Cottonwood, a community farm located in one of the city's lower-income neighborhoods.<p>More than 50 families have garden plots there. Sat, 27 Jul 2013 10:38:00 +0000 Pam Fessler 28597 at http://news.stlpublicradio.org Tucson Food Bank Helps The Needy Grow Their Own Food Howard Buffett Battles Hunger, Armed With Money And Science http://news.stlpublicradio.org/post/howard-buffett-battles-hunger-armed-money-and-science Get Howard Buffett into the cab of a big ole' farm tractor and he's like a kid — albeit a 58-year-old, gray-haired one. He's especially excited when it comes to the tractor's elaborate GPS system, which he describes as "very cool."<p>"I'm driving hands-free," says Buffett, the son of billionaire investor Warren Buffett.<p>He says that the tractor has been automatically set to plant 16 perfect rows of seeds, "so it makes everything more efficient. Tue, 23 Jul 2013 19:33:00 +0000 Pam Fessler 28483 at http://news.stlpublicradio.org Howard Buffett Battles Hunger, Armed With Money And Science