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College of Health and Human Sciences

Kansas rural family helpline can assist rural families, producers hit by recent winter storms

Monday, February 12, 2007

MANHATTAN -- Charlie Griffin says his phone has been ringing nonstop since damaging winter storms hit parts of western Kansas in late December and early January.

Griffin is the director of the Kansas Rural Family Helpline, a program of the School of Family Studies and Human Services at Kansas State University's College of Human Ecology.

The helpline, established in 2000, provides free confidential assistance, support and referrals to agricultural producers and rural families with immediate needs. The helpline's response to storm-related needs is being provided in partnership with Kansas Agricultural Mediation Services.

Forty-four counties in western Kansas that were affected by the storms have qualified for assistance through the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The storms caused significant livestock loss and damaged key infrastructure like power lines and poles.

Griffin said the Helpline provides access via referral to a resource network of health providers, churches, financial and legal advisers, farm and family mediation services, family educators and agricultural production and agribusiness specialists. It also provides access to local, state and federal agencies that may be able to help rural families in the state.

"For people who don't know where else to turn, we can help," Griffin said.

The Kansas Rural Family Helpline is available, toll free, at 1-866-327-6578 or by e-mail to farmksu@humec.ksu.edu.

This article was posted on Monday, February 12, 2007, and is filed under Applied Human Sciences, College News.