can't ... help ... self ... must ... respond .... to ... topic ... with ... rant ... (disclaimer: the comments which follow do not apply to those who are poor thru physical disability and do not apply to all poor people.) ok, just so people know where i'm coming from, here's a picture of my dad while moving into of one of our spacious homes ( i was about 6 at the time). to be fair, we did later graduate to a 10 by 50 foot trailer (the largest in the park). i lived in better and i lived in worse while growing up and for a while had no place to live at all. i've received food stamps and i've been hungry. (food stamps were great because they allowed me to divert an additional portion of my household budget to mcdonalds.) after i left home for college i was living largly on hotdogs my girlfriend would steal from the USC cafeteria and reheat for me in the electric coffe pot in her dorm room. i was working 50 hours per week for minimum wage and 30 pounds underweight (6 foot 4 with a 28 inch waist). but most of all, i was deleriously happy to be out of the environment of poverty and not worried anymore about someone kicking the shit out of me just for the thrill of it. i remained poor and ate a lot of hamburger helper for about the next 5 years but compared to what had gone before, i didn't mind a bit. decades after the fact, i still get warm fuzzies just because i've arrived at a safe place. i realize that good people desperately want to believe that the problems of the poor can be solved by money. but i'm sorry, they can't. good people want to believe that the poor are simply versions of themselves with empty pockets. i'm sorry, they're not. you could have keller cooking for the whole trailer park for the rest of his life and the park would still have the same number of belligerant wife beating racists. (please forgive me for being blunt). there are immature and irresponsible people in all economic groups but (in my experience) in the u.s. the distribution of immature and irresponsible people is skewed towards the poor. no one is forced to have babies out of wedlock. no one is forced to marry a wife beater. no one is forced to drop out of high school. i've known a lot of people who have climbed out of that pit and they all share some common characteristics. first of all, most (but not all) had fathers living at home. second, they had a long term view of their lives. they could see years ahead instead of just looking at next weekend. finally, they CHOSE early in their lives not to stay poor. you want to really help a poor child? f#@k the nutrition. give him or her a scholarship to a private school. support school vouchers or anything else that gives a child the opportunity to be surrounded by responsible mature adults and the children of responsible mature adults. get the kid out of the trailer park. everything else will probably sort itself out. tbarton hits the nail on the head. you cannot end poverty by giving people money. based on my experiences, you can only end poverty by changing the behavior of the poor. end of off topic rant.