01/28/2009 12:03 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Stimulus Highlights Include Provisions for Poor

The federal government is about to commit almost a trillion dollars to a stimulus package, and antipoverty advocates have wondered whether the American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan will include aid to those who are poor.

While the legislation is far from final, highlights of the bill released from the Senate and House Appropriations Committees, respectively, offer some encouraging signs.

In a section of the Senate release called "Protecting the Vulnerable," new funding is outlined for early childhood services, food stamps, homeowners' assistance, and other antipoverty programs. The release pledges "to lessen the blow of the current recession" and provide "immediate relief for children, the poor, and others who may find themselves struggling to put food on the table or a roof over their head."

For its part, the House release specifies new funding for weatherizing low-income houses, increasing food stamp benefits, building public housing, and much more. It's hard to estimate, but somewhere between $70 billion and $100 billion of the package is targeted to low-income people.

While there are likely going to be tough times ahead, there may be help on the way for those who need it most.

Originally at Spotlight on Poverty.