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USDA Invests $208,137 in Emergency Rural Health Care in Tennessee

Charron Culp
Release Date

DUNLAP, Tenn., Aug. 28, 2023 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development – Tennessee is pleased to participate in an award announcement for the Southeast Tennessee Human Resource Agency (SETHRA).

“The USDA Rural Development Emergency Health Care Grant will significantly increase SETHRA's capacity to distribute food and meals to low-income, disabled, and elderly households in our rural service area,” Rachel C. Hackworth, Executive Director of Southeast TN Human Resource Agency said. “The vision for this program is to increase commodities distributions from quarterly to every other month, provide additional refrigerated produce, and increase the number of homebound seniors receiving meals delivered to their home. Funding from USDA Rural Development is an investment in our communities with long-term benefits to the people we serve.”

Southeast TN Human Resource Agency received a $208,137 grant through the Emergency Rural Health Care Grant Program. This Rural Development investment will be used to purchase a refrigerated box truck, equipment, and salary assistance for the Commodities Program. This funding will assist in purchasing updated food storage equipment and refrigeration system as well as a refrigerated box truck, and salary assistance that will better enable SETHRA to continue its vital work of food delivery to the rural residents of Athens, Coalmont, Decatur, Ducktown, Dunlap and Pikeville, Tenn. 

"We are excited to celebrate in this award announcement for the Southeast TN Human Resource Agency. This is a great investment for the community and people of Athens, Coalmont, Decatur, Ducktown, Dunlap and Pikeville, Tenn.,” Arlisa Armstrong, Tennessee State Director said. “We are committed to partnering with organizations to help broaden access to food assistance through food banks and food distribution facilities. This funding will support the long-term sustainability of food services in these rural communities.”

Others participating in the event include Rachel C. Hackworth, Executive Director Southeast Tennessee Human Resource Agency; Southeast Tennessee Human Resource Agency Board of Directors; Mayor David Jackson, Marion County, Tenn.; Mayor Clint Huth, City of Dunlap, Tenn.; Mayor Thomas Meeks, City of Coalmont, Tenn.; representatives from the Office of Senator Marsha Blackburn and Senator Bill Hagerty; and USDA Rural Development representatives Arlisa Armstrong, State Director and Karen York, Loan Specialist.

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 assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural, Tribal and high-poverty areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov/tn. If you’d like to subscribe to USDA Rural Development updates, visit our GovDelivery subscriber page.

USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. In the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate-smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit www.usda.gov.