Resources

Resource Index

 

2020 FARM TO SCHOOL GRANTS AVAILABLE
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Office of Community Food Systems has announced the official release of the 2020 Farm to School Grant Program Request for Applications (RFA). Farm to school programs support local communities through a variety of activities, including taste tests, farm visits, local purchasing, food and agriculture education, and farmer and producer training. USDA will award up to $10 million in competitive grants to eligible entities through the Farm to School Grant Program in FY 2020. Each grant helps implement farm to school programs that increase access to local food in eligible schools providing students with nutritious meals, while also supporting local producers. In FY 2019, USDA awarded a record 126 grants across the U.S. Eligible applicants are schools and school districts, local agencies, Indian tribal organizations, small- to medium-sized agricultural producers or groups of small- to medium-sized agricultural producers, and non-profit organizations. The application deadline is December 13. Click here for more information and here for the grant RFA.

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DOWNLOAD TESTIT, THE RURAL BROADBAND MAPPING APP
To continue gathering data about broadband availability and speed, the National Association of Counties (NACo), Rural Local Initiatives Support Corporation (Rural LISC), Rural Community Assistance Partnership (RCAP), and National Association of Development Organizations (NADO) have created a mobile app that allows individual users to accurately identify areas with low or no broadband connectivity. The data from the app are aggregated to identify gaps in broadband coverage, help guide advocacy for adequate funding, and inform decision-making at federal, state, and local levels. To date, the mobile app has been downloaded 4,500 times and 190,000 tests have been run. To download the app, click here. Click here for the link to a one page description of the app. Click here to see the state data collected so far.

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USDA RURAL DEVELOPMENT REAP GRANTS AVAILABLE
The U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development is offering Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) grants to support agricultural producers and rural small businesses to reduce energy costs and consumption by purchasing and installing renewable energy systems and making energy efficiency improvements in their operations. The application deadline is October 31. Click here for more information.

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HRSA RURAL HEALTH NETWORK DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM GRANTS
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Resources and Services Administration is offering funding through the Rural Health Network Development Program to improve access and quality of health care in rural areas through network collaboration, adapting an evidence-based service model, and promoting sustainability of rural health networks through the creation of diverse products and services. The application deadline is November 25. Click here for more information.

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AMERICORPS GRANTS TO STRENGTHEN COMMUNITIES
The Corporation for National and Community Service is offering AmeriCorps state and national grants for programs that are designed to strengthen communities and solve local problems, including those found in rural and underserved areas. Funding priorities include prescription drug and opioid abuse, education and rural intermediary organizations. The application deadline is January 8, 2020. Click here for more information.

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EDUCATION GRANTS TO SUPPORT DIVERSITY, ANTI-BIAS IN SCHOOLS
Teaching Tolerance, a project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, is offering educator grants to help teachers and schools educate children and youth to be active participants in a diverse democracy. Teaching Tolerance Educator Grants support educators who embrace and embed anti-bias principles throughout their schools. These grants range from $500 to $10,000, and support projects that promote affirming school climates and educate youth to thrive in a diverse democracy. The grants fund projects at the school, classroom, and district levels. Educators nationwide in public or private K-12 spaces, as well as in alternative schools, therapeutic schools, and juvenile justice facilities are eligible to apply. Applications may be submitted any time. Click here to visit the Teaching Tolerance website for more information.

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GATES FOUNDATION GRAND CHALLENGE GRANTS TO ADDRESS U.S. POVERTY
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is accepting applications for the Grand Challenge. Applicants are asked to submit their ideas about how to change the discourse about poverty in the United States. The foundation will award multiple grants of $100,000 each toward developing the selected ideas. For more information about the Grand Challenge, click here.

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ARTISTS LEAD GRANTS FOR CREATIVE PLACE-BASED PROJECTS
The National Crowdfunding Platform IOBY (In Our Backyards") and ArtPlace America are offering “Artists Lead,” a new funding opportunity for artists with a creative idea for a place-based project that strengthens their community. Selected artists will receive up to $15,000 in matching funds, plus one-on-one fundraising support, when they crowdfund with IOBY. For more information on IOBY and Artists Lead, click here

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PA FARM LINK RESOURCES FOR FARMERS, VETERANS
PA Farm Link, a 501(c)(3) non-profit dedicated to “creating farming opportunities for the next generation,” has an extensive library of resources available online for farmers and veterans. Resource Central has information on transition planning, farm business planning, preserved farm resources, farm transition checklists and more. Click here for Resource Central. Veterans Resource Central has information on a variety of farmer-veteran programs and outreach sources. Click here for Veterans Resource Central.

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APPLY NOW FOR DAIRY INVESTMENT GRANT PROGRAM
The Pennsylvania Departments of Community and Economic Development (DCED) and Agriculture (PDA) are accepting applications for the Pennsylvania Dairy Investment Grant Program. The program was established under Act 38 of 2019 for research and development, organic transition, value-added processing, and marketing grants in support of Pennsylvania’s dairy industry. Eligible applicants are: businesses, schools, nonprofit organizations and postsecondary institutions. Grants range from $50,000 to $500,000 and require a 15 percent cash match. The submission deadline is November 15. For more information, click here.

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PA DHS AND AGING ANNOUNCE KINCONNECTOR HELPLINE
The Pennsylvania Departments of Human Services and Aging have announced a new KinConnector helpline for families in kinship care situations, including grandparents, aunts, uncles and siblings raising children because of the opioid crisis. The KinConnector helpline connects families with available resources such as: health, financial, and legal services; training; parenting advice; locating physical or behavioral health services; school enrollment; support groups; and other services designed to help caregivers. Navigators will also be available to help families apply for federal, state, and local benefits. To reach KinConnector, call 1-866-KIN-2111 (1-866-546-2111). Assistance is available Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, visit www.dhs.pa.gov.

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CHOICE NEIGHBORHOODS IMPLEMENTATION GRANTS AVAILABLE
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is accepting applications for the FY 2019 Choice Neighborhoods Implementation Grant Program, which supports the implementation of comprehensive neighborhood revitalization. For FY 2019, $164 million is available through this program. The application deadline is November 4. For more information, click here or email choiceneighborhoods@hud.gov

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SMALL BUSINESS ADVANTAGE GRANTS FOR SMALL BUSINESSES, FARMERS
The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) announced the availability of $1 million in grant funding to Pennsylvania small businesses and farmers for energy efficiency, pollution prevention, and natural resource protection projects through the Small Business Advantage grant program. New to the program this year is the opportunity for small business owners to install solar hot water systems for their business operations. Eligible projects include adopting or acquiring equipment or processes that reduce energy use or pollution. Examples of eligible projects are HVAC and boiler upgrades, high-efficiency LED lighting, solvent recovery and waste recycling systems, and auxiliary power units deployed as anti-idling technology for trucks. Pennsylvania-based small business owners with 100 or fewer full-time equivalent employees are eligible. Projects must save the business a minimum of $500 and 25 percent annually in energy consumption, or pollution-related expenses. Businesses can apply for 50 percent matching funds of up to $7,000 to adopt or acquire energy-efficient or pollution prevention equipment or processes. Only costs incurred between July 1, 2019, and June 30, 2020, are eligible. Applications will be considered on a first-come, first-served basis, and will be accepted until fiscal year 2019-20 funds are exhausted or April 12, 2020, whichever occurs first. All applications must be submitted through the commonwealth’s Single Application for Assistance website. Printed, faxed, and mailed applications are not accepted. The complete grant application package, which includes step-by-step instructions and instructional videos for completing the online application, is available by visiting the DEP Small Business Ombudsman’s Office website.

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NACO, LISC, RCAP RELEASE RURAL BROADBAND MAPPING APP
The National Association of Counties (NACo), Rural Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), and Rural Community Assistance Partnership (RCAP) have created a mobile app that allows individual users to accurately identify areas with low or no internet connectivity. The data collected by the app are aggregated to identify gaps in broadband coverage and help guide advocacy for adequate funding and inform decision-making at federal, state, and local levels. To date, the mobile app has been downloaded 4,500 times and 190,000 tests have been run. Click here to access the landing page and download the app. Click here for the link to a one-page description of the app and  here to see the state-by-state data collected so far.

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HOME4GOOD GRANTS TO ADDRESS HOMELESSNESS
The Federal Home Loan Bank Pittsburgh (FHLBank) and the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA) are partnering for a second year to fund programs across the state that work to address homelessness. FHLBank Pittsburgh is providing $3 million toward the Home4Good effort, and PHFA is providing $1.5 million, for a total contribution of $4.5 million in 2019. Funding will be distributed as grants to organizations with programs that help people retain or find housing, as well as those that provide supportive services. Interested groups are advised to submit proposals for Home4Good funding through a participating Continuum of Care (CoC) organization in the state, or directly to PHFA in the event there is not a participating CoC in their local area. All applicants will be teamed with FHLBank member financial institutions to further develop relationships that can help meet the service provider’s future funding needs, which is a long-term benefit of Home4Good. CoC organizations will then review and prioritize incoming proposals for funding consideration by FHLBank Pittsburgh and PHFA. Eligible organizations for funding include local governments, nonprofits, housing authorities and others. Successful Home4Good applicants will offer programs that prevent or reduce homelessness, collaborate with others to address established housing goals and have a track record of success. The deadline for service providers to apply for funding is Aug. 30. More information about Home4Good is available at www.fhlb-pgh.com, and at www.phfa.org at the bottom of the homepage, under the “Resources” header. Interested organizations can also contact Kate Swanson at kate.swanson@fhlb-pgh.com or Bryce Maretzki at bmaretzki@phfa.org for details.

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STUDY AND GUIDEBOOK ON STRENGTHENING ECONOMIC RESILIENCE IN APPALACHIA
A new study published by the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC), Strengthening Economic Resilience in Appalachia, highlights the economic resilience of Appalachian communities that have absorbed, resisted, and recovered from an economic shock, such as an economy-wide recession or industry restructuring. The study was conducted by Downstream Strategies, the Northeast Regional Center for Rural Development, and Dialogue + Design Associates, and produced two documents: a technical report that describes the quantitative analysis used to explore the factors that increase a community’s ability to buffer an economic shock; and a guidebook that summarizes project findings, presents case studies, and suggests best practices and strategies for communities to employ to build resilience. Click here for the study and guidebook.

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USDA TOOLKIT TO SUPPORT DEPLOYMENT OF HIGH-SPEED BROADBAND
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has launched a new toolkit to help support the deployment of high-speed broadband e-Connectivity in rural communities. The e-Connectivity Toolkit features 27 USDA programs that support broadband deployment. The easy-to-use resource is a simple guide that allows customers to identify their type of e-Connectivity project and locate resources the federal government offers for planning, equipment, construction, research and other e-Connectivity projects. Resources such as grants, loans and technical assistance are available from multiple Mission Areas at USDA, including Rural Development, National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Farm Service Agency, National Resources Conservation Service, and Forest Service. The toolkit also highlights examples of how e-Connectivity resources are being used to increase access to broadband services in rural communities. Click here for the toolkit.

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JOBS AVAILABLE WITH 2020 CENSUS
The U.S. Census Bureau is recruiting thousands of people across the country to assist with the 2020 Census count. A variety of temporary jobs, including census takers, recruiting assistants, office staff, and supervisory staff, are available. To be eligible, you must be at least 18 years old, have a valid Social Security number, and be a U.S. citizen. Candidates must complete an online job application, which includes assessment questions about your education, work, and other experience. For more information or to apply, click here.

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USDA RURAL DEVELOPMENT RELEASES OPIOID MISUSE GUIDE FOR RURAL COMMUNITIES
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development has released a new guide of federal programs that can be used to build resilient communities and address opioid misuse. The Rural Resource Guide to Help Communities Address Substance Use Disorder and Opioid Misuse highlights federal funding and partnership opportunities for rural communities. The guide was developed by the Rural Opioid Federal Interagency Working Group. The Working Group is co-chaired by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy and USDA and includes the Departments of Commerce, Education, Health and Human Services, Housing, Justice, Labor, Transportation, and Veterans Affairs; the Corporation for National and Community Service; and the Appalachian Regional Commission. Earlier this month, USDA launched the Community Assessment Tool, an interactive database to help community leaders assess how and why the opioid epidemic is impacting their regions. The guide and assessment tool are part of the Community Opioid Misuse Toolbox which is available on USDA’s Rural Opioid Misuse Webpage.

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USDA RURAL DEVELOPMENT LAUNCHES DATA TOOL TO HELP RURAL COMMUNITIES ADDRESS OPIOID CRISIS
The U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development has released the opioid misuse Community Assessment Tool, which enables users to overlay substance misuse data against socioeconomic, census and other public information. This data will help leaders, researchers and policymakers assess what actions will be most effective in addressing the opioid crisis at the local level. The Community Assessment Tool is free and available to the public. Rural Development partnered with the Walsh Center for Rural Health Analysis at NORC at the University of Chicago to create the Community Assessment Tool. NORC at the University of Chicago is a non-partisan research institution that delivers reliable data and rigorous analysis to guide critical program, business and policy decisions. Click here to use the Community Assessment Tool.

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USDA RURAL DEVELOPMENT LOANS AND GRANTS PROGRAMS
The U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development has the Water and Waste Disposal Direct Loan and Grant Program and Loan Guarantees Program available. The Water and Waste Disposal Direct Loan and Grant Program can provide funding for clean and reliable drinking water systems, sanitary sewage disposal, sanitary solid waste disposal, and storm water drainage to households and businesses in eligible rural areas. The Water and Waste Disposal Loan Guarantees Program can help private lenders provide affordable financing to qualified borrowers to improve access to clean, reliable water and waste disposal systems for households and businesses in rural areas. To learn more about either of these programs, contact your local Pennsylvania USDA Rural Development office here.

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RURAL LISC FUNDING TO DEVELOP, IMPROVE COMMUNITY FACILITIES
Rural LISC (Local Initiatives Support Corporation) is accepting applications for the Community Facilities Fund, which provides capital to help develop and improve essential community facilities in rural areas. Rural LISC uses this fund to provide permanent and construction-to-permanent financing for rural community facilities, including health care centers, hospitals, educational facilities, and other nonprofit and public facilities in rural communities with populations under 20,000. There is no application deadline. For more information, click here.

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PA’S ONE-STOP SHOP FOR BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT
Looking for help to start your own business or expand your existing business? Visit Pennsylvania’s Business One-Stop Shop at www.business.pa.gov. The site provides information and resources for businesses both large and small, and serves as the first point of contact for Pennsylvania business development concerns. The shop’s team helps connect and guide businesses through all stages of development — from planning and startup to operating and expanding. Visit www.business.pa.gov or call (833) 722-6778.

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PENNSYLVANIA GRANT AND RESOURCE DIRECTORY AVAILABLE
The Pennsylvania House of Representatives Democratic Caucus has released the 2017-2018 Pennsylvania Grant and Resource Directory. The directory includes a general overview of state government programs, including grants and resources, along with contact information. The directory also includes a list of online grant writing guides and a list of Pennsylvania Community Foundations. Click here for a copy of the directory.

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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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