The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) will provide $500 million in grant funding to expand access to COVID-19 testing, vaccinations, rural health services, and food assistance.
Funding will be available through two tracks:
Track One Recovery Grants will provide immediate relief from the economic conditions related to the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE).
Track Two Impact Grants will advance ideas and solutions that confront rural health care challenges and support the long-term sustainability of rural health services.
Who is eligible?
Eligible applicants include public bodies; community-based non-profits; and federally-recognized tribes. Facilities must be located in, and primarily serve, rural areas with no more than 20,000 residents as determined by the latest US Census Data.
How can funds be used?
Grant funds must be used to support health care and nutritional assistance in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic. Increasing telehealth capabilities, including underlying healthcare information systems, is one of the eligible categories for track one.
How will recipients be selected?
For Track One applicants, the USDA will use a priority point system that weighs: distressed communities, median household income, population, COVID-19 impact, and socioeconomic equity.
For Track Two applicants, the USDA will use the indicators in Track One, with the addition of organizational capacity and strength of consortium, work plan and proposed budget, ability to replicate, and socioeconomic equity.
How to apply?
Contact your local Rural Development office to discuss and submit your application. The application is due October 12, 2021.