EDINBURG, Texas (ValleyCentral) — The Hidalgo County Prosperity Task Force will gather on Thursday to discuss the impact of poverty in the colonias.

The task force, implemented by County Judge Richard Cortez, is made up of community leaders and policymakers to address the unusually high rate of poverty in the county, said the county’s public affairs office.

“Hidalgo County has a poverty rate that could be as high as 40%, which is much higher than the statewide or national poverty rate,” Judge Cortez said. “Lowering this rate even slightly could impact thousands of our residents for the better. Research shows that adopting certain policies and making certain investments not only help those in need but reduce costs to the community and government. That is the aim of this task force.”

This meeting will assist the task force in setting goals and developing a strategy to help low-income residents. Francisco Guajardo, Director of the Museum of South Texas History, will be facilitating the forum.

The meeting will take place from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Hidalgo County Precinct 2 Community Resource Center, located at 1429 S. Tower Road in Alamo.