The Bad “Welfare Bills” Bills Are Dead

 Public Benefits Legislative Update                This year, the leadership of the House of Delegates unleashed a series of attacks against SNAP (food stamps) and TANF programs in the name of “welfare reform.”  These bills were designed to cut access to both programs resulting in irreparable harm to low-income families across Virginia.  VPLC has fought […]

Below the Poverty Line

This year, multiple legislators have introduced bills designed to increase TANF benefits; and for good reason.  TANF, which provides cash-assistance for low-income families with children, has weakened considerably as a safety net.  Since 1996, the value of program benefits has declined by 28% in Virginia.  Current benefit levels can leave family incomes well below the […]

2015 SNAP Challenge: Reflection and Need for Action

SNAP Challenge: Final Reflections  How do you afford to eat on a budget of just $4 per day? Such a tight budget may seem unlivable, but it is the reality of nearly 920,000 individuals in Virginia who receive SNAP benefits. Experiencing this difficulty is one of the main goals of the SNAP Challenge, as participants […]


On October 12, we closed out our second annual SNAP Challenge.  Participants tweeted, shared photos, and raised awareness of hunger in our community.  So what’s next in our drive to protect and strengthen SNAP?  We need you to call your House member. Ask your Member to co-sponsor H.R. 2384, a bill that would increase SNAP […]

CEP: A Pathway to Hunger-Free Schools

This upcoming school year, high poverty schools across Virginia have an opportunity to offer free breakfast and lunch to all students by utilizing an exciting new option known as the Community Eligibility Provision, or CEP. The state Department of Education released a list of schools that qualify for the option late this spring and school […]

The 50th Anniversary of SNAP & A Challenge for All of You

In his 1964 State of the Union address, President Lyndon B. Johnson declared an “unconditional war on poverty in America,” urging Congress and all Americans to join him in the fight.  Many of the federal programs that began 50 years ago to help wage this war are still in existence today, including the Supplemental Nutrition […]

Food Stamp Challenge: Reflections on Eating for $32 a Week

Could you eat for $32 a week?  Since Monday, November 4, Virginia Poverty Law Center staff have been doing just that.  We kicked off our first annual Food Stamp Challenge with shopping trips to area grocery stores and then began the onerous work of making our fares stretch.  Predictably, peanut butter and pasta were staples […]

Food Stamp Challenge: November 4-8, 2013

Could you eat for $32 a week? Join The Virginia Food Stamp Challenge! November 4th-8th, 2013 The Food Stamp Challenge offers a glimpse of what life can be like for the nearly 1 million Virginians who struggle to put food on their tables. Most participants take the challenge for one week, budgeting about $32 for meals […]

Hunger Amid Plenty

By LaTonya Reed and Amy Woolard, Richmond Times-Dispatch Op-Ed Although Virginia ranks high in overall measures of wealth — we are eighth in the nation in per capita income — many of our families still struggle with hunger. According to data released earlier this month by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, nearly 10 percent of […]

Food Assistance Schedule Will Change in September and October

Virginians who depend on SNAP benefits (formerly known as food stamps) to buy food will have a change coming in the fall. The change will cause a temporary delay in benefits for some recipients and will require a community response to keep families fed. Instead of everyone getting their benefit on the first day of […]

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