United States Department of Agriculture Under Secretary for Rural Development Xochitl Torres Small announced Nov. 19 that USDA is investing $222 million to build and improve critical community facilities in 44 states, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands and Puerto Rico. This community infrastructure funding will benefit nearly 2.5 million people in rural communities.
The investment also includes $132 million to support health care, food security, and emergency response services for more than 850,000 rural residents in 37 states.
“Rural Americans need emergency response, hospitals and medical facilities, and USDA’s loans and grants invest in critical infrastructure to make that possible,” Torres Small said.
USDA is investing in 536 projects through the Community Facilities Direct Loan and Grant Program. Examples of these projects include:
Iowa - Lee County will use a grant to purchase six ambulances. The ambulances will help to provide emergency medical response services to nearly 36,000 rural people.
Minnesota - Tri-County Hospital Inc. will build a new health care campus in Wadena. The facility will include larger operating rooms to help expand services, improve technology, and enable robotic surgical procedures.
New Hampshire - The Taproot Farm and Environmental Education Center will purchase coolers and freezers to expand access to local food during the pandemic and times of food insecurity. The center also will expand its capacity to collect and safely store surplus produce from farms and gardens before distributing it to local food donor organizations.
More than 100 types of projects are eligible for Community Facilities funding. Eligible applicants include municipalities, public bodies, nonprofit organizations, and federally recognized Native American tribes. Projects must be in rural areas with a population of 20,000 or less.
Interested parties should contact their USDA Rural Development state office for information about additional funding, application procedures and eligibility.
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