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What Works to Reduce Poverty


As part of Policy Futures, we examine "what works" when it comes to federal and state policies and programs to reduce poverty and promote opportunity for low-income Americans. We synthesize and amplify the work of poverty researchers around the country on program effectiveness. This effort is designed to inform discussions about new investments in anti-poverty programs as well as reforms of, and funding levels for, existing programs.


Impact of the Safety Net

Click on a state to view its fact sheet.


In Focus: Safety Net Cut Poverty in Half 2013

Today’s safety net both keeps tens of millions of Americans out of poverty and has positive longer-term impacts on children.

SNAP Helps Families Afford Adequate Food



While SNAP provides only a modest benefit — just $1.35 on average per person per meal for households with children — it forms a critical foundation for the health and well-being of America’s children, lifting millions of families and their children out of poverty and improving food security.

Mother and Child Outside



Previous analysis of Census data showed that safety net programs cut the poverty rate nearly in half.

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