Your Opinion: Block grant funding needed

Dear Editor:

As board chair of Central Missouri Community Action (CMCA) agency, I recently attended the National Community Action Foundation conference in Washington, D.C., to discuss proposed budget cuts — specifically Community Service Block Grant (CSBG) funding.

Some of our local Family Resource Centers are in danger of being shuttered due to these cuts and their closure will have tragic results in our rural communities.

The opportunities these offices supply by way of jobs programs, emergency crisis assistance, Head Start, weatherization and various other programs are critical, now more than ever, in ultimately all of our eight-county service area communities.

I, and other representatives, met with staff members of Senators McCaskill and Blunt, and Congressmen Graves, Luetkemeyer and Congresswoman Hartzler and discussed what it would mean for Missourians to lose this funding.

Unemployment has hit low-wage earning families in small towns and rural areas to the tipping point in this nationwide economic crisis. I implore you, as citizens in the eight counties of Audrain, Boone, Callaway, Cooper, Cole, Howard, Moniteau and Osage to write and/or call your senators and congressmen and express the need for CSBG continued funding.

All of our counties need every available penny to keep people surviving in very challenging times. CMCA is critical in not only keeping families’ heads barely above water, but also in training and preparing them for the future, toward a path to self-sufficiency.

Central Missouri Community Action’s mission statement is “Empowering Individuals and Families to Achieve Self-Reliance,” but we can’t achieve this goal without funding.

For more information go to: www.friendsofcmca.org.

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