Davis, CA, Feb 17, 2010 -- Since being signed into law one year ago today, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) has made a big impact in California's rural communities. In Kings County, ARRA funds are helping the Kings Community Action Organization (KCAO) improve their Food Distribution Center. USDA Rural Development provided the group a $37,500 Community Facilities grant to purchase a new walk-in refrigerator unit.
KCAO's Food Distribution Center serves as a food bank to Kings County's rural, low-income communities of Armona, Home Garden, Kettleman City and Stratford. KCAO is the only commodity food distributor in the county, but without a refrigeration unit they are not able to handle perishable foods. However, this problem is nearly over now that KCAO has been able to purchase a new walk-in refrigerator. The group now waits for delivery of their unit from a factory in Wisconsin, which they expect in a few weeks.
"One year in, it's clear that the Recovery Act is making a difference across California in rural communities like those in Kings County," said USDA Rural Development State Director Dr. Glenda Humiston. "As this project and the hundreds others funded through ARRA conclude over the next few years, we will continue to see the effects in stronger, more vibrant rural communities."
ARRA loans and grants will continue to be available through USDA Rural Development until September 30, 2010, or until all funds have been awarded.
"President Obama's Recovery Act has helped create jobs and lay a new foundation for economic growth during the greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression," said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. "USDA has used Recovery Act funding to create badly-needed jobs and stimulate local economies, help farmers and rural businesses make it through tough times, ensure that struggling families can put food on the table, and build and revitalize critical infrastructure in rural communities across America."
USDA Rural Development's mission is to increase economic opportunity and improve the quality of life for rural residents. Rural Development fosters growth in homeownership, finances business development, and supports creation of critical community and technology infrastructure. Further information on rural programs is available at one of California's 18 local USDA Rural Development offices or by visiting http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/ca.
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Washington, D.C. 20250-9410, or call (800) 795-3272 (voice), or (202) 720-6382 (TDD).