Moberly, MO, Nov 19, 2013 -- On November 19, 2013, USDA Rural Development State Director Anita J. (Janie) Dunning today announced a Community Facility Loan of $4,900 and a Community Facility Grant of $3,200 to the Community Kitchen, Inc. Funds will be used to purchase a commercial dishwasher.
Community Kitchen is run by volunteers and was initially formed to provide serve meals and provide fellowship to the community. They served their first meal in Febrary 2011 to 14 people in a small building with no kitchen or bathroom. Through the dedication of the board, the generosity of many groups and individuals, and a grant from USDA Rural Development, they were able to purchase a building in June 2012. Volunteers are now serving over 200 free meals twice a week. The addition of a commercial dishwasher is a huge asset to the operation of the Kitchen and provides increased efficiency to those many volunteers who were washing all dishes by hand.
"Food insecurity is a real issue in rural communities. According to Feeding America, 3 million rural households or 15.4% are food insecure. This is due to several factors such as greater unemployment and underemployment, the lack of flexible and affordable child care and less access to communication and transportation networks,” Dunning said. “Groups like the Community Kitchen are attempting to resolve these insecurities at the local level by offering access to food and providing a space for the community to come together. Rural Development is well aware of the problem of hunger in rural America and is proud to be a partner in finding solutions. Responding to and finding ways to overcome food access barriers is a priority for Rural Development.”
“I am pleased that USDA Rural Development is presenting both a Community Facility Loan and a Community Facility Grant to Community Kitchen, Inc. in Moberly for the purchase of a commercial dishwasher,” said Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler (MO-4). “This dishwasher will be a great asset to volunteers who currently wash dishes and utensils after providing these meals.”
Anyone seeking more information about Rural Development Community Facility Programs or any other USDA Rural Development program may visit the Missouri Rural Development homepage at http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/mo or may contact the Kirksville Area Office at (660) 665-3274, Ext. 4.
This use of USDA Rural Development funding is another reminder of the importance of USDA programs from rural America. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack stresses that a comprehensive new Food, Farm and Jobs Bill would further expand the rural economy. He said that’s just one reason why Congress must get a comprehensive Food, Farm and Jobs Bill done as soon as possible.
President Obama’s plan for rural America has brought about historic investment and resulted in stronger rural communities. Under the President’s leadership, these investments in housing, community facilities, businesses and infrastructure have empowered rural America to continue leading the way – strengthening America’s economy, small towns and rural communities. USDA’s investments in rural communities support the rural way of life that stands as the backbone of our American values.
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