The Net Benefit

by Brian Schmidt, Kids Win Missouri

Our communities are only as strong as our people. And our people—our families, friends, and neighbors—are strong when they have access to the food, shelter, health care, and economic support they need to lead healthy lives. This is true no matter who you are or where you live. But when Missourians’ basic needs are not being met, their health is negatively impacted. And when our neighbors are left behind, it has a ripple effect on our entire community.

Last year, Kids Win Missouri held listening sessions in communities throughout the state. At these sessions, I heard from hundreds of child well-being practitioners on the importance of ensuring children have access to these basic needs so that they can be successful in school and in life. And it didn’t matter where we were. From Joplin to St. Louis, from Kansas City to Cape Girardeau, from Springfield to Kirksville, or from St. Joseph to Rolla, listening session participants stressed how crucial these supports are to making sure kids can grow up to be healthy and happy.

That’s why Kids Win Missouri has joined Missouri Foundation for Health in launching The Net Benefit, a nonpartisan education campaign to share how taking care of our residents who need help most— particularly children, seniors, veterans, and people with disabilities—leads to stronger communities and a stronger state. Where we start off in life should not determine where we end up. We all know someone who has benefited from the local assistance of food pantries, churches, job training programs, or health clinics and is better for it. It just goes to show that when we look out for one another, we all see The Net Benefit.

Because when Missourians have access to the care they need, they have the opportunity to live up to their potential and pursue their dreams—bringing limitless value to their communities and to our state. When our kids are healthier, they’re better prepared to learn. And ultimately, they’re more likely to become productive, healthy, independent adults. When our neighbors have a safe place to call home, they have the stability and protection to focus on their well-being. When we look out for one another, we all see The Net Benefit.

We are all in this together. Working toward the betterment of people makes us stronger as communities, and as a state. Learn more about The Net Benefit at

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