Resources

Resource Index

 

FREE WEBINAR - TURNING DATA INTO ACTION
America Walks is hosting a free webinar, Turning Data into Action, on December 13 at 2 pm. Representatives from America Walks, National Physical Activity Plan and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will discuss the work they have been doing to map, track and evaluate walking and walkability in the U.S. Participants will learn about new data sources, what these data tell us about walking in the U.S., and how to use that information to make the care for walkability. Click here to learn more and register.

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QUARANTINE EXPANDED FOR SPOTTED LANTERNFLY
The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture has expanded the areas quarantined due to Spotted Lanternfly, but unlike past quarantine expansions, is now applying the designation at the county level to provide an additional level of protection. The quarantine now covers Berks, Bucks, Carbon, Chester, Delaware, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lehigh, Monroe, Montgomery, Northampton, and Philadelphia counties. The quarantine now includes areas where the insect is not yet confirmed, but where there is a high risk of its rapid spread beyond the region. The state is asking the public and those traveling through quarantined counties to:

Anyone who finds the insects or egg masses outside quarantined areas should report sightings to badbug@pa.gov. Include photos, if possible, to help confirm the sighting. Suspect specimens can be submitted to the department’s headquarters in Harrisburg or to any of its six regional offices. Specimens also can be submitted to county Penn State Extension offices. Do not submit live specimens. You may also call the Invasive Species Report Line at 1-866-253-7189. Please provide details, including the location of the sighting, and your contact information. Calls may not be returned immediately, as call volume is high. Businesses that move goods can also play a role. Companies in quarantined areas must obtain a Phytosanitary Certificate or compliance agreement from the department to move articles outside the area. Those moving materials within a quarantined county need a permit to help ensure egg masses or insects are not spread beyond already-infested areas. Businesses should contact a Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture regional office to ensure that they are complying with quarantine restrictions and not spreading insects or eggs. More information on Spotted Lanternfly and what you can do to control its spread is located online.

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USDA ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS FOR COMMUNITY FOOD PROJECTS COMPETITIVE GRANTS
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is offering grants through the Community Food Projects Competitive Grants Program to meet the food needs of communities and low-income individuals; promote comprehensive responses to local food access, farm, and nutrition issues; and meet specific state, local, or neighborhood food and agricultural needs. The application deadline is December 4. Click here to review the application guidelines.  

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RURAL HEALTH OUTREACH PROGRAM FUNDS AVAILABLE
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is offering Rural Health Outreach Program Funds to nonprofits in rural areas to provide an array of outreach and supportive services to rural residents. The application deadline is December 6. Click here for more information.

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HUD ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS FOR RURAL CAPACITY BUILDING GRANTS
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is offering Rural Capacity Building for Community Development and Affordable Housing Grants to fund national nonprofit organizations that can provide technical assistance to local communities. Assistance will be targeted to help communities create thriving community development and affordable housing strategies that will result in healthier homes and communities. The application deadline is December 7. Click here to review the application guidelines on Grants.gov.

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USDA ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS FOR HIGH ENERGY COST RURAL COMMUNITIES GRANT PROGRAM
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is accepting applications for the High Energy Cost Rural Communities Grant Program for public and private entities to assist energy providers and other eligible entities in lowering energy costs for families and individuals in areas with extremely high per-household energy costs (275 percent of the national average or higher.) Grant funds may be used to finance the acquisition, construction, or improvement of facilities serving eligible communities, and for the implementation of initiatives aimed at energy efficiency improvements and conservation measures, energy-saving appliances and devices, and improving the quality and cost of energy service. The application deadline is December 11. Click here for more information.

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COMMUNITY HEALTH GRANTS AVAILABLE
The American Medical Association Foundation is offering grants through the Community Health Grants Program to community-based organizations, such as free health clinics, that offer services to vulnerable and underserved populations, including residents of inner cities and rural areas. The initiative supports innovative programs targeting the prevention and reduction of Type 2 diabetes and hypertension. Grants will be awarded in amounts up to $60,000 and are renewable for up to three years. Nonprofit organizations in the continental U.S. that have been in existence for at least 3 years are eligible to apply. The application deadline is December 20. Visit the foundation’s website for more information. 

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HUD ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS FOR SELF-HELP HOMEOWNERSHIP OPPORTUNITY PROGRAM
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is accepting applications for the Self-Help Homeownership Opportunity Program (SHOP). SHOP awards grant funds to eligible national and regional nonprofit organizations and consortia to purchase home sites and develop or improve the infrastructure needed to set the stage for sweat equity and volunteer-based homeownership programs for low-income persons and families. The application deadline is January 25, 2018. Click here for program and application guidelines.

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GRANTS AVAILABLE FOR RURAL HEALTH CARE SERVICES OUTREACH PROGRAM
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Health Resources and Services Administration is accepting applications for the Rural Health Care Services Outreach Program, a community-based grant program aimed at promoting rural health care services by enhancing health care delivery in rural communities. Outreach projects focus on improving access to services, strategies for adapting to changes in the health care environment, and overall enrichment of the respective community’s health. Through a consortium of local health care and social service providers, rural communities can develop innovative approaches to challenges related to their specific health needs. The program also creates an opportunity to address the key clinical priorities of HHS: serious mental illness, substance abuse, and childhood obesity. Eligible organizations must be a rural nonprofit or rural public entity that represents a consortium of three or more health care providers. For the purposes of the Outreach Program, a consortium can also be a network. The organization must be located in a non-metropolitan county or in a rural census tract of a metropolitan county. All services must be provided in a non-metropolitan county or rural census tract.  If the organization’s headquarters are located in a metropolitan county that serves non-metropolitan or metropolitan counties, the organization/agency is not eligible solely because of the areas served. In addition, if the organization is located in a metropolitan county with branches in a non-metropolitan county, it is not eligible to apply if it is eligible only because of the areas or populations served. The application deadline is December 6. A full description of the funding opportunity is available at www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=295218.

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RURAL HEALTH INFORMATION HUB ONLINE
If you’re looking for an online source for current and reliable resources and tools on rural health needs and the work being done to address them, check out the Rural Health Information Hub (RHIhub), formerly the Rural Assistance Center. RHIhub is funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy to be a national clearinghouse on rural health issues. RHIhub also provides free assistance customized to your needs. Call (800) 270-1898 or email info@ruralhealthinfo.org.

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INVESTING IN AMERICA’S WORKFORCE REPORT AVAILABLE
The Federal Reserve System has released the report, “Investing in America’s Workforce: Report on Workforce Development Needs and Opportunities,” which shares insights from focus groups with leaders from around the county on what is needed to improve workforce outcomes and investments. The focus groups were conducted as part of a new initiative, called Investing in America’s Workforce: Improving Outcomes for Workers and Employers, which seeks to reframe workforce development from the provision of social services to an important investment in our national economy. The report also outlines ideas to make workforce development more investable, for example: classifying workers as assets instead of expenses; offering financial products that allow organizations to increase capacity and scale; using outcomes-based funding models; and directing philanthropic capital to promote innovation, collaboration, and capacity building. For more information, visit https://www.investinwork.org/.

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HUD ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS FOR CHOICE NEIGHBORHOOD IMPLEMENTATION GRANTS
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is offering Choice Neighborhoods Implementation Grants designed to address struggling neighborhoods with distressed public housing or other HUD-assisted housing through a comprehensive approach to neighborhood transformation. Eligible grantees include public housing authorities, local governments, tribal entities, nonprofits, and for profit developers that apply jointly with a public entity. The application deadline is November 22. Click here for funding guidelines and to apply.

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USDA ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS FOR MULTIFAMILY PRESERVATION AND REVITALIZATION PROGRAM
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Housing Serviceis accepting pre-applications for the Multifamily Preservation and Revitalization (MPR) Program. Properties serving Census tracts in persistent poverty counties or other areas with special housing needs will get extra points. Pre-applications requesting multiple MPR funding tools are due December 1. For more information, visit the Federal Register notice.

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USDA ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS FOR COMMUNITY FOOD PROJECTS COMPETITIVE GRANTS PROGRAM
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture is accepting grant applications for the Community Food Projects Competitive Grants Program to plan or implement food projects designed to meet the needs of low-income individuals and increase community self-reliance concerning food and nutrition. The application deadline is December 4. For more information, click here.

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TOOLBOX FOR EDUCATION PROGRAM GRANTS AVAILABLE
The Lowe’s Toolbox for Education Program provides grants for school improvement projects. The priority for the 2017 grant cycle is basic needs of students. Individual public K-12 schools or nonprofit parent groups associated with public K-12 schools are eligible to apply. Parent groups that are applying independently must have an EIN and 501c(3) status from the IRS. Awards range from $2,000 to $5,000. The application deadline is November 29 or once 1,500 applications are received. For more information and to apply, visit the Toolbox for Education website.

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MAPPING TOOL SHOWS SNAP HOUSEHOLD PARTICIPATION RATES BY COUNTY
The Food Research and Action Center hasreleased an interactive mapping tool that provides household participation rates for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps, by county in each state. SNAP Maps is based on the American Community Survey (ACS) 5-year data (2011–2015) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Characteristics of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Households: Fiscal Year 2015. Each county is grouped into one of three census categories: Metro, Small Town, and Rural. SNAP participation nationally was highest among households in rural (16 percent) and small town (16 percent) counties compared to households in metro counties (13 percent). Check out the tool, analysis and other resources here.

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ALA RELEASES NEW REPORT ON RURAL U.S. LIBRARIES
The American Library Association's Office for Information Technology Policy has released a new report that focuses attention on the capacity of rural public libraries to deploy Internet-enabled computing technologies and other resources to meet the needs of their residents. The report, Rural Libraries in the United States: Recent Strides, Future Possibilities, and Meeting Community Needs, explores nuances of rurality, details challenges rural libraries face in maximizing their community impacts and describes how existing collaborative regional and statewide efforts help rural libraries and their communities.

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COMMERCE GRANTS TO SUPPORT PUBLIC WORKS
The U.S. Department of Commerce is offering grants to provide investments that support construction, non-construction, planning, technical assistance, and revolving loan fund projects under the Economic Development Administration’s Public Works and Economic Adjustment Assistance programs. The Public Works program provides catalytic investments to help distressed communities build, design, or engineer critical infrastructure and facilities that will help implement regional development strategies and advance bottom-up economic development goals to promote regional prosperity. The Economic Adjustment Assistance program provides investments that support a wide range of construction and non-construction activities in regions experiencing severe economic dislocations that have occurred suddenly or may occur over time. A portion of Economic Adjustment Assistance funding supports communities and regions that have been negatively impacted by changes in the coal economy. Eligible applicants are District Organizations of a designated Economic Development District; Indian Tribes; states, counties, cities, or other political subdivisions of a state; institutions of higher education; and public or private nonprofit organizations or associations acting in cooperation with local governments. The application period is ongoing, until the publication of a new program announcement.Click here for additional guidelines and to apply.

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USDA RURAL DEVELOPMENT GRANTS, LOANS AVAILABLE
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development has several loan and grant programs available for agricultural producers and rural small businesses. The Rural Energy for America Program offers guaranteed loan financing and grant funding to agricultural producers and rural small businesses to purchase or install renewable energy systems or make energy efficiency improvements. Agricultural producers with at least 50 percent of gross income coming from agricultural operations and small businesses located in eligible rural areas may apply. Value-Added Producer Grants help agricultural producers enter into value-added activities related to the processing and/or marketing of bio-based, value-added products. Generating new products, creating and expanding marketing opportunities, and increasing producer income are the goals of this program. Business and Industry Guaranteed Loans help bolster the existing private credit structure through the guaranteeing of loans for rural businesses, allowing private lenders to extend more credit than usual. Lenders with legal authority, sufficient experience, and financial strength to operate a successful lending program (i.e. federal or state chartered banks, savings and loans, farm credit banks, credit unions, etc.) may apply for this program. For more information on these loan and grant opportunities, contact the Pennsylvania USDA Rural Development office at 717-237-2189 or visit www.rd.usda.gov/pa.

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FORD FAMILY FOUNDATION OFFERING YOUTH DEVELOPMENT AND EDUCATION GRANTS
The Ford Family Foundation is accepting applications for Youth Development and Education Grants, which support educational projects, programs and out-of-school time facilities in rural communities that encourage the development of skills, confidence and support needed for school-aged youth (5-18 years) to connect with quality mentors, excel in school, develop leadership skills, graduate with a plan for the future and become successful citizens. Typical grant sizes range from $25,000 to $150,000 per year. While there are exceptions, the foundation prefers to fund no more than one-third of the proposed budget. The fund types include programs, operating requests and capital projects. Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis. For more information, visit the foundation’s website.

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KELLOGG FOUNDATION GRANTS AVAILABLE
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation is accepting grants applications to support programs that focus on developing a healthy start and quality learning experiences for all children, helping families get stable, high-quality jobs and connecting employers with talented candidates, and/or advancing racial equity, developing leaders, and fostering community engagement. Award amounts have ranged from $5,000 to $1,500,000. Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis. To learn more and to apply, visit the foundation’s website.

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FORD FOUNDATION OFFERING GOOD NEIGHBOR GRANTS
The Ford Family Foundationis offering small grants to organizations working in rural communities with populations of less than 35,000 in response to unexpected needs or simple projects. These grants are highly competitive and limited; priority is given to short-term grant requests for simple projects, unforeseen emergencies that interrupt programming or services, and one-off events or activities. Grants can range from $1,000 to $10,000 and funds are released within 60 days. Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis. For more information, visit the foundation’s website.

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