Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, speaking before the start of the Virginia GOP Convention in Roanoke last month, has unveiled a new plan aimed at tackling poverty in America. Steve Helber/AP hide caption

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Rep. Ryan Unveils His Anti-Poverty Plan, A Rebuke To LBJ Programs

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Logan Kovach, 6, Matthew Kovach, 2, and Allyson Kovach, 5, eat a lunch distributed by the YMCA in Hopkins County, Kentucky. Pam Fessler/NPR hide caption

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Summer Program For Hungry Kids Gets Creative With Food Delivery

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Susan St. Amour panhandles on a median in Portland, Maine. The city tried to ban loitering on medians last year, but a judge found the law unconstitutional. Caroline Losneck for NPR hide caption

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With A Series Of Small Bans, Cities Turn Homelessness Into A Crime

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Sherman Justice says he struggled when he got out of prison after serving time for robbery and drug trafficking. Pam Fessler/NPR hide caption

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How Banning One Question Could Help Ex-Offenders Land A Job

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Charitable Giving Nears Pre-Recession Levels, Annual Report Shows

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Mallyveen Teah relaxes in his Arlington, Va., apartment after work. Pam Fessler/NPR hide caption

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A Campaign To House The Homeless Reaches A Milestone

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A woman and her daughter shop at a Greenmarket in New York City using Electronic Benefits Transfer, or food stamps. Government data show that fewer people were receiving the benefits in February 2014 than at the peak in December 2012. Andrew Burton/Getty Images hide caption

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Economic Upswing Has Fewer Americans Receiving Food Stamps

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Toni Smart points to the oven that she uses to heat her one-bedroom apartment, which has no heat. Smart says she and her kids stayed in homeless shelters a few years ago. She says she'd rather be without heat than in the shelter. Pam Fessler/NPR hide caption

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Lack Of Affordable Housing Puts The Squeeze On Poor Families

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Poverty, A Frustrating Mix Of Bad Choices And Bad Luck

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Desiree Metcalf, here with one of her three daughters, is one of many poor Americans who find themselves trapped in a system meant to help. Pam Fessler/NPR hide caption

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One Family's Story Shows How The Cycle Of Poverty Is Hard To Break

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Victoria Houser of Painted Post, N.Y., is raising her son, Brayden, on her own. She says she feels stuck in a never-ending cycle, constantly worried that one financial emergency will send everything tumbling down. Pam Fessler/NPR hide caption

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The Changing Picture Of Poverty: Hard Work Is 'Just Not Enough'

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An Arkansas voter enters an early-voting polling place on May 5. Danny Johnston/AP hide caption

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As States Vote In Primaries, Voter ID Laws Come Under Scrutiny

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Finding A More Nuanced View Of Poverty's 'Black Hole'

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An election official checks a voter's photo identification at an early-voting polling site in Austin, Texas. Eric Gay/AP hide caption

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Voting Rights Fight Takes New Direction

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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

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States' Rebellion Against Food Stamp Cuts Grows

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