Poverty-stricken W.Va. counties may see extra help

An editorial from the Herald-Dispatch

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — Significant portions of West Virginia and Kentucky will soon have a new partner in trying to combat poverty in those regions.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture last week announced that 29 of West Virginia’s 55 counties and 73 of Kentucky’s 120 counties have been added to the agency’s anti-poverty program called StrikeForce. Included among the counties in West Virginia are Cabell, Wayne, Lincoln and Mason. Boyd and Lawrence counties are included in the USDA’s designation for Kentucky.

So what can these areas, which have poverty rates of 20 percent or higher, expect?

According to U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, they shouldn’t expect federal representatives swooping in to dictate what should be done. Instead, StrikeForce works with local communities to identify projects or initiatives that can make a difference for residents, and the federal program then will strive to find resources to fulfill those needs, he said in announcing the program’s expansion.

That sounds like the preferable approach…

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