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USDA Invests Nearly $1 Million to Expand Access to Healthy Foods for People Living in 19 Rural Communities in California

RD Press
FRESNO, Calif.
Release Date

FRESNO, Calif., Aug. 18, 2022 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Under Secretary for Rural Development Xochitl Torres Small today announced that USDA is awarding nearly $1 million in grants to expand access to healthy foods and nutrition assistance for people living in 19 rural communities in California.

“The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to creating local and regional food systems that benefit all Americans, from farmers and ranchers to entrepreneurs and families in rural communities everywhere,” Torres Small said. “Thanks to the leadership of Congressman Costa, USDA has resources through programs like the Emergency Rural Health Care Grants to increase access to healthy foods for people living in small towns and rural communities in California and throughout the country.”

USDA is awarding two Emergency Rural Health Care Grants to Central California Food Bank that will help expand access to healthy foods. The food bank will use an $854,900 grant to purchase food and equipment to distribute food to rural areas and increase food storage capacity to benefit people living in Allensworth, Alpaugh, Biola, Cantua Creek, Coarsegold, Goshen, Ivanhoe, Oakhurst, Pixley, Poplar, Raisin City, Richgrove, San Joaquin, Strathmore, Tranquility and Traver.

These funds also will support new food pantries and neighborhood market programs to meet the increasing demand for food distribution service in the communities. More than 20 percent of people living in these communities are facing poverty. 

The food bank will use a $72,300 grant to support food pantries and neighborhood market programs to benefit people living Caruthers, Lemon Cove and Springville.

The Biden-Harris Administration made these funds available in the Emergency Rural Health Care Grants Program through its historic legislative package, the American Rescue Plan Act. The Act and this program are examples of the government’s ability to respond quickly to ensure every person and family has access to high-quality health care no matter their zip code.

USDA Rural Development promotes a healthy community and environment through the Emergency Rural Health Care Grants to make sure people, kids and families have access to the health care they need. The grants support the ability of rural communities to provide health care to the people and places in our country that often lack access.

USDA will announce additional awardees for Emergency Rural Health Care Grants in the coming weeks and months.

Background: Emergency Rural Health Care Grants

Congress passed the American Rescue Plan Act in March 2021 to deliver immediate economic relief to people impacted by the pandemic. Within months after the Act’s passage, USDA responded quickly by making this funding available to ensure the long-term availability of rural health care services.

In August 2021, USDA made the Emergency Rural Health Care Grants available through the American Rescue Plan Act to help rural health care facilities, tribes and communities expand access to health care services and nutrition assistance.

The investments will help rural hospitals and health care providers implement telehealth and nutrition assistance programs, increase staffing to administer vaccines and testing, build or renovate facilities, and purchase medical supplies. They also will help regional partnerships, public bodies, nonprofits and Tribes solve regional rural health care problems and build a stronger, more sustainable rural health care system in response to the pandemic.

The assistance is helping provide immediate relief to support rural hospitals, health care clinics and local communities. USDA is administering the funds through Rural Development’s Community Facilities Program

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. If you’d like to subscribe to USDA Rural Development updates, visit the GovDelivery subscriber page.

USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. Under 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.



USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender.