The Department of Agriculture Monday announced an effort to help rural communities to address some of their immediate needs and foster long-term economic growth. USDA is providing loans and grants to help people living in rural and Tribal communities in the Rural Partners Network access good-paying jobs, improved infrastructure, affordable housing and quality health care. The funding will support 52 projects in Alaska, Arizona, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina, West Virginia and Puerto Rico.
In the West, the funding will help Tribal communities improve water and wastewater services and bring solar power and other forms of renewable energy to Tribal lands and farms. For people in Southern communities, projects will increase access to fresh foods in high-poverty areas and allow electric cooperatives to connect thousands of people to power with smart-grid technologies. The announcement includes $394 million in awards from USDA that will benefit communities and support their long-term visions for strong, local economies.