In Case You Missed It (ICYMI): Week of September 5 – September 9, 2022

September 7, 2022

USDA Announces $400 Million in Funding Available to Create USDA Regional Food Business Centers

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the availability of approximately $400 million to provide essential local and regional food systems coordination, technical assistance, and capacity building services through USDA’s new Regional Food Business Centers.

September 8, 2022

Statement from Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on 2022 Public Charge Final Rule

“Today’s release of the 2022 Public Charge Final Rule by the Biden-Harris Administration and Department of Homeland Security represents an important step towards ensuring all those who are eligible for USDA’s nutrition assistance programs can access their crucial benefits. The rule clarifies and formalizes the policy that’s been in place for most of the last two decades, definitively allowing eligible immigrants to apply for and receive non-cash government benefits – like SNAP, WIC, and free or reduced-price school meals – without fear of any negative impact on their immigration status. Immigrants and their families have the right to access the programs for which Congress has made them eligible.

“This action ensures a fair and faithful interpretation of the law, one that will have a meaningful impact on the immigrant communities and help give them the nourishment to lead happier, healthier lives. It represents the administration’s broader commitment to equity and advancing nutrition security for generations to come.”

September 9, 2022

Biden-Harris Administration Now Accepting Applications for $1 Billion Rural High-Speed Internet Program

U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that USDA is now accepting applications for ReConnect Program loans and grants to expand access to high-speed internet for millions of people in rural America nationwide. The Department is making more than $1 billion available, thanks to President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The program is a critical piece of the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to connect every American to affordable, reliable, high-speed internet.

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