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USDA Partners with Communities to Support Opioid Treatment, Prevention and Recovery Services in Rural America:

Emily Cannon
Release Date


In Maine, Three Rivers Ambulance Service Receives $129,000 Grant

Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Anne Hazlett today announced that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is partnering with rural communities to support opioid treatment, prevention and recovery services.

“USDA is helping to address this national crisis by partnering with communities to build an effective response to this significant challenge,” Hazlett said. “The opioid epidemic is dramatically impacting the health, quality of life and long-term prosperity of many rural places. USDA is investing in treatment, prevention and recovery services that help people rebuild their lives and will help communities have healthy, productive citizens.”

USDA Rural Development State Director Timothy P. Hobbs said, “I am pleased USDA Rural Development can invest in life-saving equipment to help rural Maine people during a time when they face health-related emergencies, including the effects of opioid misuse.”

In Maine, the Three Rivers Ambulance, in Milo, has been selected to receive a Community Facility Grant in the amount of $129,000 to purchase an ambulance and equipment to provide advanced emergency services, aiding in part opioid and substance misuse patients. It will serve a population of about 5,000.

Hazlett announced that USDA is investing $10.7 million in 85 projects in 22 states through the Department’s Community Programs division. USDA has many resources that can be used to help communities address the opioid epidemic. Earlier this summer, the Department launched an interactive map with information about actions and resources to address the opioid epidemic through prevention, treatment and recovery opportunities. USDA also has developed a Rural Opioid Misuse webpage to help communities share information about best practices to address the crisis.

Hazlett announced investments in Arkansas, Arizona, California, Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, Vermont and Wisconsin.

In April 2017, President Donald J. Trump established the Interagency Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity to identify legislative, regulatory and policy changes that could promote agriculture and prosperity in rural communities. In January 2018, Secretary Perdue presented the Task Force’s findings to President Trump. These findings included 31 recommendations to align the federal government with state, local and tribal governments to take advantage of opportunities that exist in rural America. Increasing investments in rural infrastructure is a key recommendation of the task force.

To view the report in its entirety, please view the Report to the President of the United States from the Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity (PDF, 5.4 MB). In addition, to view the categories of the recommendations, please view the Rural Prosperity infographic (PDF, 190 KB).

USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities and create jobs in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community services such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov.

USDA Rural Development has Area Offices located in Presque Isle, Bangor, Lewiston, and Scarborough, as well as a State Office, located in Bangor. Rural Development staff work diligently to deliver the agency’s Housing, Business, and Community Programs, which are designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, and farmers, and improve the quality of life in rural Maine. Further information on rural programs is available at a local USDA Rural Development office or by visiting USDA Rural Development's web site at http://www.rd.usda.gov/me.