The United States Department of Agriculture offers a multitude of grants and support for development of rural communities, and recognizes that cooperatives are a key way to strengthen conditions for rural people. In this year’s funding round, CDI won four different grants to help in different ways.
The Rural Cooperative Development Grant, for $200,000, has been awarded to CDI for the seventeenth time. This covers our work providing free or low cost basic assistance to co-ops and groups considering forming a co-op in rural areas of the six New England states and New York, as well as education and networking activities. We typically work with upwards of 100 different groups.
The Socially Disadvantaged Groups Grant, for $143,352 this year, will allow us to work with eleven socially-disadvantaged groups of farmers and workers, 163 people in all, in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and New York. The groups include Native Americans, New Americans, and women.
CDI has also won a Housing Preservation Grant for the Pioneer Cooperative of Franklin County, a low-income scattered-site housing cooperative. The $50,000 grant will allow the co-op to repair and rehab many of its buildings.
Finally, we also secured a $25,000 Local Foods Promotion Planning Grant to support the development of the Maine Farm and Sea Cooperative.
Many thanks and appreciation to the USDA for supporting our work with cooperative groups!