COLUMBIA, MO., February 6, 2022 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Missouri State Director Kyle Wilkens today announced that the Department is awarding a $1 million grant through the Community Facilities Loan & Grant Program to an entity in Northeast Missouri. The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2022 directed the Department to award the grant to Douglass Community Services at the request of Congressman Sam Graves. Director Wilkens stated “USDA Rural Development is proud to be involved with this project, and to be assisting Douglass Community Services in financing their new facility. This is a perfect example of how our Community Facilities Grants can assist with the needs of our rural Missouri communities.”
Douglass Community Services will use the Rural Development investment to construct a new 8,000 square foot pre-engineered steel building for offices, a thrift store, community room, as well as a food pantry for Douglass Community Services, Incorporated. Currently, they occupy and maintain the former Hannibal Medical Center. That facility is antiquated and has reached the end of its useful life. Douglass Community Services, Incorporated provides a multitude of support to the local community and service area.
This project came to the attention of Congressman Graves who was determined to help Douglass Community Services obtain assistance so they could maintain their mission to serve the community. “I’m proud to have secured this funding to help Douglass Community Services complete a new community center and food pantry in Hannibal. For more than a half century, they’ve been dedicated to providing faith-based charitable services and resources to those who need it most. That need continues to grow and this will give Douglass the ability to provide much-needed help to families and individuals throughout Northeast Missouri. I’m grateful for the work they do, thankful for the tireless efforts of the team at Douglass, and I look forward to all the good they’re going to do in the future with this new facility.” Said Congressman Graves.
Examples of services provided include a food pantry; thrift store; housing and utility assistance; Foster Grandparents; RSVP Program (volunteer opportunities for 55 and older); Christmas Blessings Program; USDA Youth Meals; Head Start; Kids in Motion summer program and Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) for neglected and abused children. It is estimated that this project will benefit at least 123,868 people in the area.
"Douglass Community Services would like to thank Congressman Graves and USDA Rural Development for their financial support of Douglass. With this funding, we will be able to address significant needs that our community members face daily, such as food insecurities, housing affordability, foster care and more" says Stephanie Cooper, CEO of Douglass.
Background: Community Facilities Direct Loan & Grant Program
This program provides affordable funding to develop essential community facilities in rural areas. An essential community facility is defined as a facility that provides an essential service to the local community for the orderly development of the community in a primarily rural area, and does not include private, commercial, or business undertakings.
USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities, create jobs, and improve the quality of life for millions of Americans in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety, and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural, tribal, and high-poverty areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov.
USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. In the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate-smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean-energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit www.usda.gov.
Contact USDA Rural Development
USDA Rural Development has 25 offices across the state to serve the 2.2 million residents living in rural Missouri. Office locations include a state office in Columbia, along with local offices in Butler, Charleston, Chillicothe, Clinton, Dexter, Eldon, Farmington, Higginsville, Houston, Kennett, Kirksville, Maryville, Mexico, Moberly, Neosho, New London, Poplar Bluff, Richmond, Rolla, Sedalia, Springfield, St. Joseph, Troy, and West Plains.
If you’d like to subscribe to Missouri USDA Rural Development updates, visit our GovDelivery subscriber page.
USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.