"Many atheists may also feel that poverty is a problem best addressed by government programs/policies."
I'm definitely not one of them. I think the federal government is generally very inefficient in this realm, and in fact has many many misguided programs and policies that do more to entrench and perpetuate poverty than solve it, while draining the economy. I believe the more local the effort, and the more it emphasizes and encourages self-sufficiency, the better off everyone is, from the taxpayers to the needy. This is not to say that private charities are always models of efficiency either. I just read a book entitled _Toxic Charity_ which argues that many private charities and even church "missions" are also run in ways that do more harm than good in the long run, and how that can be turned around.