States are taking an out provided by Congress to avoid cutting food stamp benefits to families, many of whom already depend on food banks like the Alameda County Community Food Bank in Oakland, Calif. Antonio Mena/Courtesy of Alameda County Community Food Bank hide caption

itoggle caption Antonio Mena/Courtesy of Alameda County Community Food Bank

Maya Gaines, of the Baltimore CASH Campaign, tries to encourage people to put aside some of their tax refunds into savings. She rings bells, cheers and dances every time someone decides to do that. Pam Fessler/NPR hide caption

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Linda Beckford (right) exercises as part of a walking group that tries to make their neighborhood a better place to live. If nothing else, the seniors feel more confident about going outside. Quoctrung Bui/NPR hide caption

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Robert Bauer (far left) and Benjamin Ginsberg (far right) are co-chairmen of the president's Commission on Election Administration, appointed to find solutions to election-related issues. Carolyn Kaster/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Carolyn Kaster/AP

Melissa Conklin, 23, stands in the kitchen of her two-bedroom apartment at Woodmere Trace in Norfolk, Va. She earns about $30,000 a year at a nearby car dealership, and says these apartments are not only convenient, but affordable. She pays about $900 a month here, far less than other apartments in the area. Pam Fessler/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Pam Fessler/NPR

President Lyndon B. Johnson and his wife, Lady Bird, greet Tom Fletcher's family in Inez, Ky., in 1964. Fletcher was an unemployed saw mill worker with eight children. Bettman/Corbis hide caption

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Colby Kirk of Inez, Ky., is a junior at the University of Kentucky, studying to be a financial analyst. He says there aren't many opportunities for college grads in his hometown. Pam Fessler/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Pam Fessler/NPR

President Lyndon Johnson, on the porch of Tom Fletcher's cabin, listens to Fletcher describe some of the problems in Martin County, Ky., in 1964. Bettmann/Corbis hide caption

itoggle caption Bettmann/Corbis

"Every day I go out and push my son around and fill out applications," Tonilyn Rowe said. "But obviously it's not a good look to walk into a job with a stroller." Pam Fessler/NPR hide caption

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