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War on Poverty and the Great Society

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War on Poverty and the Great Society of which it was part of

The Kennedy administration had been working on the most ambitious and controversial part of the Great Society effort to improve American life since 1963. This Great Society reform was known as the War on Poverty. President Johnson was the first to make public mention of this Great Society during his presidency and he called it an "unconditional war on poverty". This program was designed to ultimately eliminate hunger and deprivation from American Life.

The first real Act on this war was known as the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964. This Act also created the Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO), which in-turn was created to oversee several community-based antipoverty programs. The OEO was designed to help those less fortunate better themselves and become productive members in today's society, through education, job training, and community development.

This Great Society effort to fight the War on Poverty started with a $1 billion dollar appropriation in 1964 and continued to spend over $2 million dollars in the next 2 years to follow. Many programs were created from the War on Poverty, i.e., The Job Corps, designed to help disadvantage youths develop marketable skills; Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA), this domesticated version of the Peace Corps sent middle-class young people on "missions" into poor neighborhoods; the Model Cities program for urban redevelopment; Upward Bound, which assisted poor high school students entering college; legal services of the poor; the Food Stamps program; and Project Head Start, which offered preschool education for poor children. (http://college.hmco.com./history/readerscomp/rcah/htm1)

This program has evolved since its inception into two everlasting programs known as the Head Start program and the Food Stamp program. The Early Head Start program is designed to serve qualifying pregnant women, infants, and toddlers by providing support services that promote child and family development. This program since the day that is started continues to fulfill its purpose. The Head Start program includes services such as prenatal examinations, training in child development, and infant and toddler center-based care. This program fosters lifelong independence and personal responsibility for low-income families.

The Food Stamp Program serves as the first line of defense against hunger. It enables low-income families to buy nutritious food with coupons and Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) cards. Food Stamp recipients spend their benefits to buy eligible food in authorized retail food stores. This Program is the cornerstone of the Federal food assistance programs, and provides crucial support to needy households and to those making the transition from welfare to work. (http://www.fns.usda.gov/fsp/)

This program dates as far back as the late 1930's to help people buy and eat nutritional foods, be

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