Agriculture

Local nonprofits receive $98K in USDA grants

USDA Secretary Tom Vilsak.

Two local nonprofit organizations in Aguada and Vega Alta are among 107 recipients that will share some $55 million in grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to create jobs, and improve health and safety conditions in rural communities, agency Secretary Tom Vilsack said Thursday.

ABC Infantil Inc., a nonprofit childcare center in Aguada, has received a $52,500 grant to acquire a playground and school bus for the center, while Hogar Ruth Inc., a battered women’s shelter established in Vega Alta in 1985, has been assigned a $45,763 grant to acquire a playground for the children staying in the shelter with their mothers.

Vilsack made the announcement as part of President Barack Obama administration’s week-long focus on the rural economy and the White House Rural Council, which is addressing key areas of need in rural America including helping rural small businesses access capital, expanding rural job search and training services, and increasing rural access to health care workers and technology.

“The funding we are announcing today will help rural communities remain attractive places for job creation and business expansion,” Vilsack said. “The Obama administration and USDA are committed to ensuring that rural communities remain economically competitive by offering residents access to quality health care services, modern library facilities and school buildings, and reliable emergency equipment and services.

Financing comes from the USDA Rural Development’s Community Facilities Program.

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