In-Brief

USDA earmarks $5M to fight opioid crisis in rural America, including P.R.

Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Anne Hazlett

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is setting aside $5 million to fund two key grant programs to address opioid misuse in rural communities, Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Anne Hazlett announced.

“The opioid epidemic is dramatically impacting prosperity in many small towns and rural places across the country,” Hazlett said. “With this focused investment, we are targeting our resources to be a strong partner to rural communities in building an effective local response to this significant challenge.”

Luis García-Boria, USDA Rural Development acting state director for Puerto Rico said USDA is reserving the funding through the Community Facilities Grant Program and is giving priority to Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grant (DLT) Program applications proposing innovative projects to address the opioid epidemic in rural communities.

In the Community Facilities grant program, rural communities and nonprofit organizations can apply through the usual Community Facilities grant application process for grants up to $150,000 for innovative projects such as mobile treatment clinics. Community Facilities grants may fund up to 75 percent of an eligible project.

Distance Learning and Telemedicine grant program applicants will receive priority for telemedicine projects with the primary purpose of providing opioid prevention treatment or recovery services. Eligible proposals can receive 10 priority points on their applications.

Funding for both programs was made available through the FY 2018 Omnibus spending bill. Applications for Communality Facilities grants funded with this National Office reserve should be submitted on or before June 4, 2018. Applications will be accepted at the Rural Development Office. Applications submitted after the deadline will be considered for regular, state-allocated funding, the agency said.

The application deadline for Distance Learning and Telemedicine grants is June 4, 2018.

Applications can be submitted electronically at Grants.gov or in hardcopy to USDA Rural Development Telecommunications Programs, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Room 2488, STOP 1597, Washington, DC 2050-1597.

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This story was written by our staff based on a press release.

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