Poverty

Poverty in Vermont has steadily increased over the last ten years.
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Poverty is on the rise in Vermont, with roughly one in nine Vermonters struggling to make ends meet. It's a trend that's steadily increased over the last decade. A new report shows more Vermonters are struggling to pay for basics like food, housing, and child care. What policies will best help those who are struggling the most?

Melody Bodette / VPR

Vermont’s universal recycling law, Act 148, requires institutions that create large amounts of food waste to keep that food out of a landfill. And that new mandate has created an opportunity. 

Budget pressures at the Department for Children and Families led lawmakers and administration officials to cut welfare benefits for 860 Vermont households. Advocates for low-income Vermonters, however, say the welfare program is running well under budget, and they say the state should now restore the cuts.

Kirk Carapezza / VPR/File

Nearly one in six Vermont children is living in poverty, and advocates say it’s time to put more money into solving the problem. Now, a coalition is pushing for a surcharge on hotel stays to generate new revenue. 

Ric Cengeri / VPR

Vermont has a poverty rate of 12.2 percent. And almost a quarter of the state's jobs are considered low wage. Advocates say that the crisis of poor Vermonters is deepening. The Council on Pathways from Poverty recently presented their report on how to reduce poverty to Governor Shumlin.

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On Monday of this week the Chittenden Emergency Food Shelf served more people in a single day than ever before. Meanwhile, USDA statistics show that the hunger rate in Vermont has not improved over the past several years.  We're talking about hunger in the state: how widespread it is, who's hardest hit, and what can be done to help hungry Vermonters.

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Many people in our state are financially struggling. We're talking to a financial coach who helps low and moderate income Vermonters. From tackling identity theft, to planning for big purchases, to building up good credit - we'll talk about strategies, advice, and support that can help Vermonters find greater economic security.

Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR/file

The Morrisville Development Review Board Thursday rejected a zoning permit for a year-round homeless shelter.

Patti Daniels / VPR

A lawyer representing Champlain Housing Trust says an emergency housing facility in Shelburne does not violate local zoning codes.

Patti Daniels / VPR

The school cafeteria is a boisterous scene, but anti-hunger advocates say that for low-income kids who don't get enough to eat, the cafeteria can be a stressful place that reinforces stigma.

In Vermont today 15 percent of children grow up in poverty, and still more families are living on the edge. They’re unable to afford advantages like tutoring, after school programs or even the precious time to read to children.

The increasing wage gap is hurting low income children and their chances of success, says Robert Putnam, a Harvard social scientist and author of the book, Bowling Alone.

John Dillon / VPR File

Failure to pay old fines has cost thousands of Vermonters their driving privileges. It’s become an especially big problem for lower-income residents. And state officials say they’ll introduce legislation next year that will help many of those drivers get back on the road.

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Less than 1 percent of SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) benefits coming into Vermont are redeemed at the 45 farmers markets capable of processing these benefits. 

More than 800 low-income households have gotten at least a temporary reprieve from reductions in welfare assistance that had been scheduled to take effect this week.

Ross D. Franklin / AP

After a rocky encounter with civil rights protestors last week, Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign is putting a new focus on issues of racial injustice. But one African-American leader in Vermont says it will take more than campaign platforms for Sanders to connect with people of color.

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There’s controversy brewing in Lebanon, New Hampshire about a move to ban panhandling in public places. The proposed ordinance is spurred by the occasional soliciting of motorists slowed or stopped along busy Route 12A.

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Women are twice as likely to live in poverty in Vermont as men. Three factors that make the cycle difficult to break are housing, transportation and child care costs.