Poverty still plagues West Virginia, but signs of hope can be found

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“Last June, I was dispatched home to West Virginia as a Report for America corps member to cover poverty for my hometown newspaper, the Charleston Gazette-Mail.

Our corner of Appalachia is rooted in poverty — think black and white images of Lyndon B. Johnson’s “War on Poverty.” Today, West Virginia remains one of the poorest states in the country, where one in five children struggle to access food. The history and policy failures here — our vulnerable children, cyclically disadvantaged — are complex in a place where despair lingers in the damp air between rolling hills and in people who can’t “just pick up and leave,” as outsiders advise, or who simply object to doing so”

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