Lincoln, — Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Anne Hazlett today announced that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is partnering with rural communities in 22 states to support opportunities for opioid prevention, treatment and recovery. Two Nebraska projects funded totaling nearly $116,000.
“With its impact on workforce, quality of life and the economic vitality of rural communities from Maine to California, the opioid epidemic is more than just a matter of public health – it is an issue of rural prosperity,” Hazlett said. “Under the leadership of President Trump, USDA is committed to being a strong partner to rural communities in planning and building local responses to this monumental challenge.”
USDA is investing $10.7 million in 85 projects in 22 states through the Community Facilities program. Below are Nebraska projects USDA is supporting:
- In Fairbury, Neb. the Hope Crisis Center is receiving a $83,800 grant to buy and renovate an office building. Counseling rooms, interview rooms and a storage area will be added to provide education to victims of domestic violence, often caused by opioid abuse. Other funding includes a $507,000 USDA Rural Development loan and a $5,000 applicant contribution.
- In Harrison, Neb., the village of Harrison is receiving a $31,800 grant to buy an electric cot for the rescue unit’s ambulance. The new cot will help rescue personnel transport patients suffering from substance overdose, and physical or mental health emergencies. In addition to serving Harrison’s 250 residents, the rescue unit will serve the surrounding rural area.
Hazlett announced that USDA is making investments today 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.