Enhance Your Community’s Quality Of Life to Attract More Workers & Support Current Residents
20 Mar 2023
News, Grants, Quality of Life
Economic developers focused on quality of life improvements are finding it easier to attract workers to their community. As flexible work arrangements become more common, people are searching for prioritizing communities they will enjoy living in when conducting a job search. There are grants that can help to fund these projects.
In addition, regardless of a community’s size, there is always the possibility that some of its members can slip through the cracks where they are unable to receive basic assistance. Utilizing grants that focus on enhancing the quality of life for everyone ensures that no individual, young or old, gets left behind.
Improving the quality of life in a community is beneficial for economic developers because when an individual's basic needs are met they become integrated, and therefore productive, within their community.
Quality Of Life Grants
The Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) department within the USDA is helping to ensure that students have better access to locally sourced foods with multiple grants that surround the Farm to School Program, including:
- Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act (NSLA)
- National School Lunch Program (NSLP)
- School Breakfast Program (SBP)
- Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP)
- Summer Food Service Program (SFSP)
A $12 million award funds these initiatives, which provide training, equipment, school gardens, partnerships, and the framework for farm-to-school programs in rural communities.
Equipment Assistance Grants provide $30 million annually for the National School Lunch Program (NSLP). Specifically, they target school food authorities (SFA’s), which make up the NSLP, to help with supply chain issues that arose during the COVID-19 outbreak in 2020.
Development And Implementation Of Healthy Meals Incentives School Food System Transformation Challenge Sub-Grants
The FNS vests up to four sub-grants that will help further establish the Healthy Meals Incentives Initiative within the K-12 school system. SFAs that have taken adequate steps to improve the nutritional value of food provided in schools are eligible to receive these grants.
The intention is to address staff shortages, training accessibility, rising food prices, and obsolete cooking tools. Rural SFAs face significant challenges in these supply chain issues, which is why they are the target of these grants.
The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) provides the United States emergency food network with much-needed financial help to keep food banks and other food-related community organizations running in the face of the extra strain that the aftermath of COVID-19 left on the network’s infrastructure.
The Reach and Resiliency initiative provides an extra $100 million in aid to help food assistance programs bolster their infrastructure in underserved and rural communities. Specifically, the aim is to expand TEFAP into low-income, Tribal, and remote communities where food programs are most needed.
This program aims to support smaller food producers by helping them get past common market barriers that would otherwise keep farmers and ranchers from being able to sell their crops. Its main goals are coordination, technical assistance, and capacity building within Regional Food Center networks.
These Regional Food Business Centers function as epicenters where all stakeholders can generate plans for better regional food distribution through capacity building and technical assistance. Smaller-sized farmers and ranchers will receive help distributing their goods while taking advantage of small financial awards to help with planning, staffing, and purchasing specialized equipment.
Videos Explaining The Grant
The USDA created multiple videos to help explain the idea behind these Regional Food Business Centers:
- USDA Regional Food Business Centers Announcement (22 min)
- USDA Regional Food Business Centers Program Overview (2 min)
- USDA Regional Food Business Centers Overview (15 min)
These $250,000 grants are exclusive to Tribal Colleges that want to improve their physical facilities and purchase new equipment. These Tribal Colleges are permitted to buy:
- Educational supplies
- Vehicles and heavy machinery
- Renovations to older facilities
The Denali Commission is the federal agency tasked with providing remote Alaskan communities with critical infrastructure, utilities, and financial help. Through this grant, they focus on reducing energy costs in areas where they are at least %275 percent of the national average.
Due to the remote locations of many Alaskan communities, energy costs tend to be much higher than the national average. Programs like this help shoulder some of the economic burdens of remote living.
The Rural Development branch of the USDA offers loans and grants to low-income and elderly homeowners to make improvements or repairs on their property.
Designated loans are for modernizing, restoring, enhancing, or removing safety/health hazards from a property. Awarded grants are for eliminating health and safety hazards. The maximum grant award is $10,000, and the max loan amount is $40,000. Homeowners can combine the two for a top total award of $50,000.
The USDA created this program to assist remote communities in ensuring they are sufficiently equipped with the technology to support their rural economies and receive comprehensive health care. The Rural Development department has allocated $60 million worth of funding to help with this.
The funds are for some of the following:
- Audio and video technology that promotes the use of remote learning and telehealth
- Training in the use of this technology
- Infrastructure upgrades such as cell phone towers or broadband internet hubs
Quality Of Life Grant Outcomes
Employing quality of life grants, like the ones offered here by the Food and Nutrition Service, ensures that members of the community have access to basic services. This takes the burden off of the community as a whole, and enables its members to help perpetuate economic prosperity.
Want to learn more? Download the Economic Developers Guide to Grants That Can Fund Key Initiatives whitepaper today!
For more information and assistance in applying for grants, contact Golden Shovel or visit our website to learn more about how these initiatives can help you.