COLD SPRING -- Cold Spring area residents are kicking off a year-long exploration into poverty and how to address it at the local level.

Leaders Partnering to End Poverty (LPEP) is a grant-funded workshop series sponsored by the Blandin Foundation, awarded to one Minnesota community every year. This year, the workshop will be targeting the Cold Spring/Rockville/Richmond area.

The grant will include seven training sessions on how poverty affects communities, along with several events and community conversations.

The first LPEP event is Tuesday at the ROCORI District Education building on Main Street. Workshops run from 9 a.m.-noon, and again from 12:30-2 p.m. with lunch in between. The keynote speaker is Jodi Pfarr, a nationally-known speaker with a background educating people on the impact of poverty.

The workshop is free and open to all. To learn more about the grant, visit the Blandin Foundation's website.