Help headed to poorest counties


Reporter - Jason Hibbs

PADUCAH, Ky.---The USDA will help 73 of Kentucky's poorest counties, including six in our area.  Union, Hopkins, Crittenden, Caldwell, Graves and Fulton Counties have been pinpointed by the USDA.

It's because they've had more than 20 percent poverty during the past 30 years.  The district director for the USDA Strikeforce program in Kentucky says they'll assist counties with business and industry endeavors, food and nutrition, rural development, and community projects with grants and loans.

He said he'll coordinate with the local USDA offices to get the program off the ground. A local judge executive said he wants help with economic development to create jobs.

The director says it'll likely be a few months before counties start seeing some of the help. They want feedback from people living in these communities. That'll be coordinated through USDA offices.

"We welcome it, and we'll certainly look at it and go at it aggressively," Fulton County Judge Executive David Gallagher said.

"What we do is try to focus our efforts to set down in different communities and see what communities need and what we can help them with and kind of marry some of those services," USDA District director Jason Isaac said.

The director said he's coordinating with the USDA in Washington and the funds will come on a case-by-case basis.
The USDA Strikeforce started in 2010 and helped support more than 80-thousand projects.