United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Under Secretary of State for Rural Development Xochitl Torres Small announced today that USDA invests $ 222 million to build and improve critical community facilities (PDF, 729 KB) in 44 states, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands and Puerto Rico. This community infrastructure funding will benefit nearly 2.5 million people in rural communities. It also includes $ 132 million to support health care, food security and emergency response services for more than 850,000 rural residents in 37 states.
“The Biden-Harris administration is keeping its promise to fight the COVID-19 pandemic and rebuild our economy,” Torres Small said. “Rural Americans need emergency response, hospitals and medical facilities, and USDA loans and grants are investing in critical infrastructure to make this possible. USDA Rural Development puts rural people at the forefront of investments and opportunities to help us all build back better, stronger and more resilient.
USDA is investing in 536 projects across the Direct Loans and Grants Program for Community Facilities. The aid will fund essential community services that will help maintain rural America’s resilience in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. The projects will finance emergency response vehicles and equipment; build or improve hospitals and clinics; and fight against food insecurity.
- In Iowa, Lee County will use a grant of $ 165,000 to purchase six ambulances. Ambulances will help provide emergency medical response services to nearly 36,000 people in rural areas.
- In Minnesota, Tri-County Hospital Inc. will use a $ 42 million loan to build a healthcare campus in Wadena. The facility will include three emergency bays; two trauma rooms; 14 hospital rooms; three operating theaters; an endoscopy room; four suites for labor, delivery, recovery and postpartum; 50 clinic rooms; 10 major imaging modalities; and 14 universal platforms to support surgical, emergency, imaging, obstetrics and ambulatory services. The larger operating rooms will expand services, improve technology, and enable robotic surgeries. This project will help improve and expand access to essential health care services for over 7,200 people in rural areas.
- In New Hampshire, the Taproot Farm and Environmental Education Center will use $ 37,490 in grants to purchase coolers and freezers to expand access to local food during the pandemic and times of food insecurity. The centre’s Root Seller Marketplace will also expand its ability to safely collect and store surplus produce from farms and gardens before distributing them to local food donor organizations. These improvements will benefit 3,507 rural people.
Investments announced today will support community infrastructure projects in Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas , Utah, Virginia, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Wyoming, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands and Puerto Rico.
Over 100 types of projects are eligible for community facility funding. Eligible applicants include federally recognized municipalities, public agencies, nonprofit organizations, and Native American tribes. Projects must be located in rural areas of 20,000 inhabitants or less. For more information visit www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/community-facilities/community-facilities-direct-loan-grant-program.
Today’s Investments Complement Recently Announced USDA Funding Availability Emergency Grants Program for Rural Health Care, which is also administered under the community facilities program. Through this program, USDA is making up to $ 500 million available through the US bailout to help rural health facilities, tribes and communities expand access to COVID-19 vaccines, services health and nutritional assistance.
Under the Rural Health Care Emergency Grants program, applications for recovery grants will be accepted on an ongoing basis until funds are spent. For more information visit www.rd.usda.gov/erhc.
Interested parties should contact their USDA State Bureau for Rural Development for more information on additional funding, application procedures and eligibility. See also the Community Facilities Direct Loan Program Guide for Applicants (PDF, 669 KB) for a detailed overview of the application process.
Under the Biden-Harris administration, Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities, create jobs, and improve the quality of life for millions of Americans in rural areas. This aid supports the improvement of infrastructure; Business development; lodging; community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed Internet access in rural, tribal and very poor areas. For more information visit www.rd.usda.gov. If you would like to subscribe to USDA Rural Development Updates, visit our GovDelivery Subscriber Page.
The USDA touches the lives of all Americans every day in so many positive ways. Under the Biden-Harris administration, the USDA is transforming the American food system with a greater emphasis on more resilient local and regional food production, ensuring access to safe and nutritious food in all communities, creating new markets and sources of income for farmers and producers using climate, smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in clean energy infrastructure and capacity in rural America, and committing promoting fairness across the Department by removing systemic barriers and creating a workforce that is more representative of America. To learn more, visit www.usda.gov.