The first quarter’s meeting of the Central Region of The Missouri Municipal League met at the Rivers, Rails, and Trails Museum last Wednesday evening at 6 p.m. Dinner was catered by The Revival at the Fred.
The speakers for the evening were Evan Melkersman, community organizer, and Misty Larkins, PR manager, both from Central Missouri Community Action. Their topic: Poverty 101.
According to Melkersman, poverty means different things to different people—hunger, struggle, homelessness, unemployment, and kids.
“Poverty is not an accident of nature like a tornado or hurricane,” Melkersman explained. “It’s a man-made community problem that can be fixed.”
The government’s definition of poverty was created in the 1960s and hasn’t changed since. The formula is “food times three,” that is to say, if your income is more than the cost of food times three, you aren’t living in poverty. In terms of income, that means a family of four making an annual gross income of $24,600 is NOT living in poverty.
Unfortunately, that formula does not include shelter, clothes, or any number of other necessities that most of us take for granted.
Melkersman concluded, “The first step to eradicate poverty is education.”
Boonville is one of approximately 300 cities in Missouri who belong to the Municipal League. Hosting the Central Region’s quarterly meeting gave Boonville the opportunity to showcase some of our community’s improvements as we grow toward a better tomorrow.
The next quarterly meeting will take place in Higginsville.