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America250PA is #paproud
The Pennsylvania Commission for the United States Semiquincentennial (America250PA) is looking to engage all Pennsylvania residents, from all 67 counties, in the commemoration of our nation's 250th anniversary. America250PA was established by the legislature and Governor in 2018 to plan, encourage, develop, and coordinate the commemoration, and to showcase Pennsylvania’s integral role in our nation's founding. To volunteer, sponsor events, stay informed, and be #paproud, visit the American250PA website.
Join the PA Farm Link Academy
PA Farm Link's newest educational tool is now available free to the public. Through the PA Farm Link Academy, you can gain insights, expand your skills, and discover opportunities to thrive in the agricultural industry. Currently, the online academy includes eight learning modules that cover a wide range of topics, such as: the 4 P’s of Finance; Understanding Ag Leasing; PA Farm Link Overview (English and Spanish Options Available); Starting a Food Business; New Farmer Programs - USDA; Grants & the Preferred Program; and Business Planning. All eight learning modules are available at The current learning modules offer informational resources, but do not offer any continued learning credits. For more information, email or call (717) 705-2121.
PA Ag Mentorship Program Available to PA Ag Industry
Pennsylvania’s agriculture industry has a new resource available to help farmers. The PA Agriculture Mentor Program includes five mentors with extensive agricultural backgrounds to assist beginning farmers, agribusiness entrepreneurs and farmers in troubleshooting new strategies and ideas for their farm businesses. The program was spearheaded with the support and collaboration of Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, Horizon Farm Credit, Center for Dairy Excellence, Farm Progress, Pasa, PA Farm Link, Penn State Extension, and SCORE, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and resource partner of the U.S. Small Business Development Center. The mentoring is free and confidential. For more information, visit PA Farm Link's website.
New PA Preferred Website Offers Many New Connections
To support the increased demand for direct connection between farmers and consumers, the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture launched a website for the PA Preferred brand. At, Pennsylvanians can search for Pennsylvania products and connect with Pennsylvania farmers. The new website offers: an opportunity for Pennsylvanians to search for PA Preferred members and their products based on location, an accessible way for PA Preferred members to connect with customers and partner with other PA Preferred businesses, a streamlined system for the department to manage membership and data, and information about connecting with veteran farmers through the Homegrown by Heroes program, and information about the Farm to School program.
Mental Wellness Resources for the Agriculture Community
The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture has launched the AgriStress Helpline for Pennsylvania farmers and their families who may be experiencing feelings of loneliness, sadness, stress, or depression. Call the AgriStress HelpLine for Pennsylvania - 833-897-AGRI (2474) - it's available 24/7. Visit the department's website for more information.
Organic Certification Cost Share Program
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Organic Certification Cost Share Program (OCCSP), administered by the Farm Service Agency (FSA), provides organic producers and handlers with financial assistance to reduce the cost of organic certification. The program reimburses producers and handlers for a portion of their paid certification costs. Once certified, organic producers and handlers are eligible to receive reimbursement for 50 percent of certification costs each year, up to a maximum of $500 per certification scope-crops, livestock, wild crops, handling, and State Organic Program fees. Eligible costs include application fees, inspection costs, fees related to equivalency agreement/arrangement requirements, travel/per diem for inspectors, user fees, sales assessments, and postage. More information on the program and how to apply is available on FSA's website.
Spotted Lanternfly Business Toolkit Available
The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture has developed the Spotted Lanternfly Business Toolkit to help businesses understand the threats of the Spotted Lanternfly, and to help slow its spread in the commonwealth. As Spotted Lanternfly season approaches, it is critical that Pennsylvania businesses know their responsibilities when it comes to the quarantine and permitting. Visit the Department of Agriculture's website at this link for more information.
USDA Launches AgLab for Students, Educators
AgLab, a new science-education website operated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service is now available to student and educators. AgLab's goal is to help  educate students about the critical intersect of science and agriculture in their daily lives, such as wrinkle-free cotton, edible coatings that keep apple slices from turning brown, a low-glycemic sweetener, DEET insecticide, and a bounty of new varieties of fruits and vegetables. Geared toward K-12 students with an interest in food and science, AgLab offers a variety of content to promote a greater understanding of how agricultural research is helping meet the food, fiber, feed and fuel needs of a growing world population while also safeguarding our environment and natural resources.
Pa Preferred Homegrown By Heros Program Open To Farmers Who Are Military Veterans
Homegrown by Heroes is a program for PA Preferred members who are veterans. The program allows farmers who are military veterans to add the Homegrown by Heroes logo to their products so that consumers can easily identify it and support veteran-owned businesses. A program of the Farmer Veteran Coalition, Homegrown by Heroes was founded by the Kentucky Department of Agriculture in January 2013. To become a certified Homegrown By Heroes member, first become a member of the Farmer Veteran Coalition (membership is free). If you are not yet a member or for more information, visit the Farmer Veteran Coalition website. After your membership has been approved by FVC, you'll need to become a certified Homegrown By Heroes member. More details can be found on the Farmer Veteran Coalition's Homegrown by Heroes page. Finally, apply to the PA Preferred program (membership is free). Once these requirements have been met, complete the PA Preferred Homegrown by Heroes Application (PDF).
PA Farm Link Resources Focus On Healthy Farms, Healthy Minds
Pennsylvania Farm Link has posted some new resources for farmers called, Healthy Farms, Healthy Minds. The brochure and video encourage farmers to pay attention to and care for their mental health, just as they would pay attention to the health and vibrancy of their farms. Click Healthy Farms, Healthy Minds - YouTube for the video and Resource Hub | PA Farm Link for additional resources.
PA Farm Link Database Helps Keep Pa Land In Agriculture
Agriculture is one of Pennsylvania's top industries and it's important to keep land in agriculture production and help the next generation keep it alive and thriving, Pennsylvania Farm Link offers an online database of farming opportunities for the next generation. There is a one-time fee of $100 to list on the database. Farmer information is kept completely confidential until famers decide they are ready to meet the interested farmer or landowner. Visit the PA Farm Link website at and click on either the "Find A Farm" or "Find A Farmer" tab to see what is currently available. For more information call (717) 705-2121 or email


PCA Offers Funding for Creative Entrepreneurs
The Pennsylvania Council on the Arts (PCA) and PCA's Pennsylvania Partners in the Arts (PPA) partner organizations have funding available through the Creative Entrepreneur Accelerator Program. This program is designed to pair access to existing small business consulting services with financial resources up to $2,000 for creative entrepreneurs who want to start their own for-profit business or who operate an existing for-profit micro business. Under this program's definition, creative entrepreneurs are individuals who intend to form a business or who operate a for-profit micro business in Pennsylvania within one or more of the following creative industry areas: Marketing, Architecture, Visual Arts & Crafts, Design, Film & Media, Digital Games, Music & Entertainment, and Publishing. The program is administered regionally by PCA's  Pennsylvania Partners in the Arts (PPA), in cooperation with a network of small business development organizations, including the PA Small Business Development Centers. To learn more about the program in your county and participating referral coordinators, contact your regional PPA partner or visit PCA's website.


Take the Pennsylvania Statewide Broadband Connectivity and Digital Access Survey
As the Commonwealth seeks to expand and invest in improved broadband connectivity and digital access, it is looking for your input as a Pennsylvania resident on strategies to close the digital divide. The Pennsylvania Statewide Broadband Connectivity and Digital Access Survey will inform the 5-Year Action Plan and Digital Equity Plans, being prepared in 2023 by the Pennsylvania Broadband Development Authority (Authority). By completing the survey, you are providing critical information that will help the Commonwealth qualify for more than $1 billion in federal funding to invest in our communities. Participation in this survey is voluntary. Your services will not be impacted in any way if you do not complete the survey. The survey is private and confidential. Take the survey here. If you have any questions about this study, please contact

Statewide Broadband Community Events
The Pennsylvania Broadband Development Authority (PBDA) is working towards bringing reliable, high-speed internet for all, along with advancing support and resources to improve digital access and skills to increase economic and social opportunities for all residents. To assist in this initiative, they have scheduled a series of meetings and events, taking place across the state, to enable and encourage deeper and continued input from residents, community organizations, and municipal and county representatives. These in-person Community Conversations are designed to engage members of the community in discussions about broadband use, experiences, and to provide information about the Commonwealth’s work to develop an actionable plan to ensure equitable, affordable broadband access for all residents, businesses, and communities. Visit PBDA's website for the meeting nearest you.

Broadband Mapping Tool to Aid Capital Projects Fund Applications
The Pennsylvania Broadband Development Authority has created an online web application for its Capital Projects Fund (CPF) - Broadband Infrastructure Program (BIP). This map is using Version 2 of the National Broadband Map, which was just released on 05/30/2023. The tool will be maintained with the most recent service availability data from the Federal Communications Commission Broadband Data Collection (BDC) portal. In addition to showing broadband serviceable locations, there is a draft list of community anchor institutions available. The broadband serviceable locations are symbolized based on their service availability status (i.e., Unserved, Underserved, or Served). This map includes a selection tool to allow users to select broadband serviceable locations and the counts will display as a bar graph in the gray box in the bottom left-hand corner of the map. These counts will assist users in being able to calculate the 80% threshold of unserved/underserved locations within a proposed project area. An updated FAQ section is here. Questions should be directed to:

Census, NTIA Launch ACCESS BROADBAND Dashboard
The U.S. Census Bureau, in partnership with the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), has launched the ACCESS BROADBAND Dashboard. The new data tool shows how changes in broadband infrastructure expansion may impact local economies. The dashboard includes a series of maps showing different broadband access measures, as well as economic characteristics that research suggests could be influenced by increased access to broadband. Maps display statistics on employment, small business establishments, wages and income, poverty, home values, population change and migration, educational attainment, and gross domestic product (GDP). For more information about the dashboard, visit the Census Bureau's website. Click here to go to the dashboard.

Pennsylvania Statewide Broadband Plan
To address the immediate needs and long-term objectives for Pennsylvania broadband expansion that accounts for leveraging a variety of technologies across diverse geographies, the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) and the Pennsylvania Broadband Development Authority (Authority) released the Statewide Broadband Plan. The plan outlines goals and action steps toward achieving universal broadband access in Pennsylvania that meets or exceeds federally defined broadband speeds. In developing the plan, the DCED and the Authority solicited extensive engagement and input from state and local agencies, state legislative leaders, broadband industry leaders, nonprofits, labor organizations, schools, intermediate units, libraries, and public members through webinars, in-person and virtual meetings, and direct outreach. In addition, the Authority established four sub-committees, each with a specific focus: Data & Mapping, Technical, Workforce & Supply Chain, and Outreach & Education. Visit DCED's website for the plan.

NTIA Interactive Map Helps Public Visualize Digital Divide
The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced a publicly available digital map that displays key indicators of broadband needs across the country. This is the first interactive, public map that allows users to explore different datasets about where people do not have access to quality broadband. The Indicators of Broadband Need map integrates data from both public and private sources and contains data aggregated at the county, census tract, and census block level. Speed-test data provided by M-Lab and Ookla help illustrate the reality that many parts of the country report speeds that fall below the Federal Communication Commission's current benchmark for fixed broadband service of 25 Mbps download and 3 Mbps upload. The map also allows users to see the relationship between poverty and Internet use, displaying how areas of high poverty relate to lack of access to computers and related equipment. Usage patterns in tribal communities, which have historically suffered from lack of internet access, are included in the map as well.

Telecommunications Infrastructure Loans and Loan Guarantee Program
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development is accepting applications for loans and loan guarantees to build or update broadband and telephone infrastructure in rural areas where financing can be used for the construction, improvement, or expansion of telecommunications infrastructure serving rural areas with a population of 5,000 or fewer. The application period is ongoing. Visit USDA Rural Development for more information.

Childcare and Early Learning

USDA and HHS Launch Rural Resource Guide to Help Increase Access to Child Care Services

The U.S. Departments of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development and Health and Human Services (HHS) Administration for Children and Families have released a Joint Resource Guide to help people in rural and Tribal communities increase access to child care services. The guide provides useful information to help stakeholders in rural communities - including Tribes and Tribal organizations - address the need for improved access to affordable, high-quality childcare and early learning facilities through USDA and HHS funding and technical assistance resources. For more information on USDA Rural Development, visit

Community and Economic Development

PA SITES Program Providing Grant Funding for Business Site Development and Expansion
The Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) through the Pennsylvania First Program (PA First), is administering the Pennsylvania Strategic Investments to Enhance Sites Program (PA SITES), to provide grant funding for eligible applicants to develop competitive sites for businesses to relocate or expand within the Commonwealth. PA SITES is intended to serve as gap financing for strategic sites that need financial assistance to help reduce development risk for businesses. Eligibility: municipality, economic development organization, redevelopment authorities, municipal authorities, industrial development agencies. The application deadline is November 8. Learn more at the PA SITES page.

America250PA is #paproud
The Pennsylvania Commission for the United States Semiquincentennial (America250PA) is looking to engage all Pennsylvania residents, from all 67 counties, in the commemoration of our nation's 250th anniversary. America250PA was established by the legislature and Governor in 2018 to plan, encourage, develop, and coordinate the commemoration, and to showcase Pennsylvania’s integral role in our nation's founding. To volunteer, sponsor events, stay informed, and be #paproud, visit the American250PA website.

Community Strategies Group Releases Brief on Working with Immigrant and Refugee Families
Aspen Institute's Community Strategies Group has released its latest brief, Cultural Competency Secrets to Success with Immigrant and Refugee Families, which focuses on how organizations can make their work more culturally responsive and effective. The brief is part of the group's Family Economic Success series, which captured learnings on the best organizational strategies to provide 2Gen services to immigrant and refugee families from a year-long project, including four webinars and peer learning sessions. Visit the Aspen Institute's Community Strategies Group website for more information and to download the brief.

Resource Guide for Rural Community and Economic Development
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) have released a joint resource guide to help community organizations access USDA and EDA resources to build strategies to boost economic development in rural America. The resource guide outlines programs and services that can be used to advance community and economic development in rural communities through four key focus areas: Planning and technical assistance; Infrastructure and broadband expansion; Entrepreneurship and business assistance; and Workforce development and livability. The guide also features information and links to USDA Rural Development and U.S. Economic Development Administration key priorities and resources. The guide, Stronger Together:Federal funding and planning strategies designed to promote sustainable economic development in rural America, is available on USDA Rural Development's website.

RCAP Solutions Launches Open for Business Program for Small Businesses, Entrepreneurs
RCAP Solutions has launched the Open for Business program, an economic development initiative that aims to support small businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs. Powered by the Wells Fargo Open for Business Fund, the program offers self-guided online workshops, monthly webinars, and one-on-one consulting (which are all provided in both English and Spanish). All of these services are provided at no cost. All current business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs intending to establish, purchase, or improve a business are eligible and encouraged to participate. This program is coordinated by the national Rural Community Assistance Partnership (RCAP) to provide services to small businesses across the entire country. RCAP Solutions provides these services throughout the Northeast and Caribbean regions. For more information, visit the RCAP Solutions Open for Business website.

USDA Rural Workforce Resource Guide
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has released a resource guide (PDF, 2.5 MB) to help rural community leaders start and expand employment opportunities and access resources to train, recruit and create a sustainable rural workforce. The resource guide outlines programs and services available at USDA and other federal agencies that support workforce development in rural communities. It helps community leaders and other local entities access resources more easily to create jobs, train talent, expand educational opportunities and provide technical assistance. A resource matrix organizes USDA funding opportunities by four key assistance types: workforce development planning; infrastructure and equipment financing; industry and employer engagement, entrepreneurship and local business development; and education, training and apprenticeship. The guide also features examples of how customers have used USDA programs to support each assistance type. It includes recommendations on how rural leaders can replicate this assistance in their communities. Additional resources to support rural workforce development are available at

Rural LISC Funding To Develop, Improve Community Facilities
Rural LISC (Local Initiatives Support Corporation) is accepting applications for the Community Facilities Fund, which provides capital to help develop and improve essential community facilities in rural areas. Rural LISC uses this fund to provide permanent and construction-to-permanent financing for rural community facilities, including health care centers, hospitals, educational facilities, and other nonprofit and public facilities in rural communities with populations under 20,000. There is no application deadline. For more information, click here.

PA'S One-Stop Shop For Business Development
Looking for help to start your own business or expand your existing business? Visit Pennsylvania's Business One-Stop Shop at The site provides information and resources for businesses both large and small, and serves as the first point of contact for Pennsylvania business development concerns. The shop's team helps connect and guide businesses through all stages of development - from planning and startup to operating and expanding. Visit or call (833) 722-6778.


RHIHUB Rural Resources For Covid-19

Rural Health Information Hub (RHIhub) had developed an online guide to provide information about activities underway to address COVID-19, the disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Federal and state agencies, along with national organizations, are sharing resources and guidelines to help all communities and healthcare facilities, including rural areas, respond to this issue. Visit for the latest information.

Domestic Violence Prevention

IPV Data Dashboard from PCADV
The Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence (PCADV) has launched a data dashboard with visualizations to help users explore how community risk factors impact domestic violence in Pennsylvania. The community risk factors are in four categories, based on the THRIVE model, which PCADV follows for prevention. These categories are People, Place, Equitable Opportunity, and Community Determinants. For questions or to share data you think might be useful, please contact PCADV’s Prevention Team at

PCADV Releases New 5-Year Domestic Violence Prevention Plan
The Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence (PCADV), with the assistance of a diverse and interdisciplinary Statewide Leadership Team (SLT), has released its bold 5-year plan for preventing domestic violence in Pennsylvania. Rooted in a social justice approach, the plan looks at the prevalence of domestic violence by acknowledging and addressing oppressions that lead to inequities in access to power and resources across groups of people. Both the development of the SLT and the State Action Plan are made possible, and fully funded, by a 5-year DELTA Impact grant awarded by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to the PCADV in 2018. Visit PCADV's website to view and download the 5-year plan.

Emergency Services/Fire Prevention

Pennsylvania Office of the State Fire Commissioner
Pennsylvania fire and emergency services programs that are interested in training, community education, loans, grants and more should contact the Pennsylvania Office of the State Fire Commissioner (OSFC). OSFC is the primary representative for fire services in the commonwealth. For more information, visit OSFC’s website or call its offices in Harrisburg (717-651-2201 or 1-800-670-3473) or Lewistown (717-248-1115 or 1-800-459-4096).

PA Firefighter Recruitment and Retention Program
The Office of the State Fire Commissioner (OSFC) is assisting with the statewide efforts to recruit and retain fire and emergency services personnel. The mission of the Recruitment and Retention Program is to assist the fire service in accessing various services in the Commonwealth and provide technical assistance to local fire organizations and local governments. OSFC can assist with certification, education and training, funding, and more. Visit OSFC's recruitment and retention website for more information, or call (717) 651-2207.



Food and Nutrition Services Updates TEFAP Foods Available List
The U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service has updated the Foods Available List for the Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP). The updates were made to reflect recent changes to the program including new foods, material code changes, and items removed due to supply chain related product shortfalls. The list now includes new Kosher certified items. Visit the TEFAP website for the updates.

Grant Writing

Health and Human Services

ASERT Collaborative Provides Pennsylvania Autism Resources
ASERT Collaborative is a partnership of medical centers, centers of autism research and services that provide streamlined access to information for Pennsylvanians living with autism. ASERT provides resources for individuals with autism, parents and caregivers, professionals, family members and the community. To learn more about ASERT, visit

Apply Now for Community to Home (C2H) Grant Program 
The Pennsylvania Department of Health, Bureau of Family Health announced a grant opportunity for community-based, non-profit organizations, Community to Home (C2H). C2H is a home visiting program focused on rural areas of PA to improve the health of Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs (CYSHCN), by assisting them with their families to access the services and support required to thrive in the community and develop to their full potential. Applications for the program will be accepted until Dec. 19. Learn more about the C2H program and Request for Applications (RFA) can be found on the PA eMarketplace.

Our Rural Pennsylvania: Interactive Atlas on Influences of Family Health
Policy Lab at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) has released Our Rural Pennsylvania, an online interactive atlas created by mothers and caregivers to record the everyday places that influence their family’s health. The interdisciplinary project sought to identify rural-relevant policies and investments, particularly outside health care systems, that would improve maternal and child health in rural communities. The tool can be used to inform investments to support children and families throughout rural Pennsylvania. Visit CHOP's Policy Lab online to view the atlas.

Pennie Health Coverage for Pennsylvanians
Pennie is Pennsylvania’s official health and dental coverage marketplace and the only place to get financial assistance to help lower the cost of coverage and care. Pennie enrollment typically runs from November through January 15th for all Pennsylvanians to shop for health insurance. After January 15th, folks who experience a Qualifying Life Event are still eligible to apply for financial assistance and shop for health insurance. For more information, visit the Pennie website.

Innovations in Alzheimer's Caregiving Awards Program
The Innovations in Alzheimer's Caregiving Awards Program offers monetary awards to programs or projects that focus on supporting family and informal caregivers of adults with Alzheimer's disease and related dementias. The program is sponsored by the Family Caregiver Alliance. One award of $20,000 will be given in each of three categories: creative expression - programs that use imaginative and creative approaches, such as art, music, theater, multimedia, and technology; diverse/multicultural communities - programs that fill a gap in services, support, or other types of outreach to family/informal caregivers in rural, low-income, diverse ethnic, diverse age, or LGBTQ communities; and public policy - programs that advocate for systems change for the benefit of family/informal caregivers or care recipients. Eligible applicants are nonprofits, government agencies and universities. The application period typically opens each year during September and closes in October. The awards are announced by the end of December. For more information, visit the program website.

Rural Health Information Hub Online
If you're looking for an online source for current and reliable resources and tools on rural health needs and the work being done to address them, check out the Rural Health Information Hub (RHIhub), formerly the Rural Assistance Center. RHIhub is funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy to be a national clearinghouse on rural health issues. RHIhub also provides free assistance customized to your needs. Call (800) 270-1898 or email

Angel Flight's Free, Non-Emergency Air Travel For Rural Children And Adults
Angel Flight East (AFE), founded in Pennsylvania by Harry Morales, a general aviation pilot, is dedicated to rural health by facilitating free air transportation to children and adults in need of medical treatment far from home. AFE is based in Montgomery County, Pa., and serves the Northeast United States. While AFE flies patients from all over a 14-state territory, it has seen an even greater need for patients living in rural areas and those with rare medical conditions who often have to travel far distances for treatment. For more information, click here.

Historic Preservation

America250PA is #paproud
The Pennsylvania Commission for the United States Semiquincentennial (America250PA) is looking to engage all Pennsylvania residents, from all 67 counties, in the commemoration of our nation's 250th anniversary. America250PA was established by the legislature and Governor in 2018 to plan, encourage, develop, and coordinate the commemoration, and to showcase Pennsylvania’s integral role in our nation's founding. To volunteer, sponsor events, stay informed, and be #paproud, visit the American250PA website.

Certified Local Government Grants Available
The Pennsylvania State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) has announced two new grant programs exclusively for Certified Local Governments in Pennsylvania. The Certified Local Government Program (CLG) is a partnership between municipal governments, SHPO, and the National Park Service (NPS) that promotes and supports effective historic preservation programs and policies in Pennsylvania municipalities. Designation is a mark of distinction that provides participating communities with credibility, as well as access to technical assistance and grant programs. The CLG Mini-Grant program provides grants up to $7,500 for planning, ordinances, surveys, studies, guidelines, and public education projects (basically anything that is not construction). These grants can be used for projects sponsored by the municipality, or that the municipality applies for on behalf of a partner organization in the community. Mini-grants are available on a rolling basis and are awarded first-come-first-served. Click here for the application. The CLG Scholarship program provides funding for individuals in CLG communities to participate in conferences, seminars, and online programs related to preservation issues, to host speakers and training programs, or to purchase educational materials or memberships in organizations that provide training programs and publications. Scholarships may be up to $2,000 for each individual attending an event or $5,000 per hosted training program. Larger awards will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Scholarships are available on a rolling basis and are awarded first-come-first-served. Click here for the application. Click here for more information about CLG.


App Helps Students/Families Access Homelessness Services
The Pennsylvania Department of Education has announced the availability of a new app to help students and families experiencing homelessness to access resources and services. The app, Find Your Way PA, can connect users to resources, including shelter, food, health and mental health, personal care items, child care, and education. It is available on three platforms, including the web, Google Play Store and the Apple App Store. The app was developed with funding from the American Rescue Plan Homeless Children and Youth (ARP-HCY) Program, which provides children and youth experiencing homelessness with access to services.

Flexible Loans from HAC
The Housing Assistance Council (HAC)has flexible loan capital available to support preservation of U.S. Department of Agriculture Section 515 properties, U.S. Housing and Urban Development-subsidized properties, and naturally occurring affordable housing in rural places. Eligible properties are existing affordable or mixed-income rental housing (with or without current income restrictions). Loans can be $50,000-$1.5 million, interest rates can be as low as 4.5%, and terms can be up to 180 months, with longer amortization periods based on project needs. Eligible borrowers include nonprofit organizations, for-profit developers, housing authorities, and tribal entities. For more information, see HAC's website.

USDA Rural Development Housing Loans, Grants, Technical Assistance
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development has several loan and grant programs for homeowners, including the following: Single Family Housing Repair Loans and Grants (Section 504 Home Repair Program), which provide loans to very-low-income homeowners to repair, improve, or modernize their homes or provides grants to elderly very-low-income homeowners to remove health and safety hazards; Rural Home Loans Direct Program (Section 502 Direct Loan Program), which assists low- and very-low-income applicants with obtaining decent, safe, and sanitary housing in eligible rural areas by providing payment assistance to increase an applicant's repayment ability; and Mutual Self-Help Housing Technical Assistance Grants, which provide grants to qualified organizations to help them carry out local self-help housing construction projects. More information on these and other USDA Rural Development services and programs is available at or by calling (717) 237-2273.


High School Students Encouraged to Join Young Ambassadors Program
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation and Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful are inviting 10th -12th grade students from around the state to help keep Pennsylvania clean and beautiful through the Young Ambassadors program. The program provides opportunities for high school students to train and network with industry leaders, state agencies, local media and the Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful network to increase leadership and problem-solving skills. Learn more about ambassadors’ responsibilities and apply for the program here by Sept. 14.

USDA Rural Development Loans And Grants Programs
The U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development has the Water and Waste Disposal Direct Loan and Grant Program and Loan Guarantees Program available. The Water and Waste Disposal Direct Loan and Grant Program can provide funding for clean and reliable drinking water systems, sanitary sewage disposal, sanitary solid waste disposal, and storm water drainage to households and businesses in eligible rural areas. The Water and Waste Disposal Loan Guarantees Program can help private lenders provide affordable financing to qualified borrowers to improve access to clean, reliable water and waste disposal systems for households and businesses in rural areas. To learn more about either of these programs, contact your local Pennsylvania USDA Rural Development office here.

America Walks Technical Assistance
America Walks is now offering more intensive, Technical Assistance (T.A.) solutions to government, non-profit, and business clients. With more than 20 years of experience in advocacy campaigns and policy development, America Walks' T.A. program is based on proven strategies for engaging community stakeholders, building local walking movements, and developing the political will that leads to positive change. Click here for more information.

Opioids/Substance Abuse Disorder

Accessing No-Cost Naloxone in Pennsylvania
Naloxone saves lives by reversing opioid overdoses. Naloxone is a critical tool in Pennsylvania’s efforts to address the opioid epidemic, in addition to other efforts like expanding access to treatment, services, and supports for people with substance use disorder (SUD). Pennsylvanians can play an important role in addressing this public health crisis by being prepared, learning the signs of overdose and how to respond, and getting naloxone. The Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs encourages you to learn about the ways individuals, organizations, and agencies can access naloxone. Click here for the one-page PDF for resources to access no-cost naloxone in Pennsylvania.  

PA DHS And Aging Announce Kinconnector Helpline
The Pennsylvania Departments of Human Services and Aging have announced a new KinConnector helpline for families in kinship care situations, including grandparents, aunts, uncles and siblings raising children because of the opioid crisis. The KinConnector helpline connects families with available resources such as: health, financial, and legal services; training; parenting advice; locating physical or behavioral health services; school enrollment; support groups; and other services designed to help caregivers. Navigators will also be available to help families apply for federal, state, and local benefits. To reach KinConnector, call 1-866-KIN-2111 (1-866-546-2111). Assistance is available Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, visit

Guidebook Assists Rural Leaders With Response To Crisis Of Addiction
The Office of National Drug Control Policy has released a new guidebook to assist rural community leaders in building an effective local response to the crisis of addiction. The Rural Community Action Guide: Building Stronger, Healthy Drug-Free Rural Communities provides rural leaders with information they can put into immediate action to create change. It provides background information, recommended action steps, and promising practices to help manage the impact of substance use disorder on local communities and help persons with the disease of addiction. The topics are based on lessons learned from Department of Agriculture rural roundtable discussions held in over a dozen states, as well as the experiences of several rural stakeholder partners.  


America250PA is #paproud
The Pennsylvania Commission for the United States Semiquincentennial (America250PA) is looking to engage all Pennsylvania residents, from all 67 counties, in the commemoration of our nation's 250th anniversary. America250PA was established by the legislature and Governor in 2018 to plan, encourage, develop, and coordinate the commemoration, and to showcase Pennsylvania’s integral role in our nation's founding. To volunteer, sponsor events, stay informed, and be #paproud, visit the American250PA website.
Senior Food Box Program Helps Stretch Food Dollars
The Senior Food Box program is a monthly food package tailored for older adults, age 60 and above, that helps stretch food dollars and adds nutritious foods to promote good health. The program works to improve the health of low-income seniors by supplementing their diets with nutritious food. In Pennsylvania, eligible participants include low-income individuals who are at least 60 years old and whose household income is at or below 130 percent of the U.S. poverty level. The program is supported through USDA's Commodity Supplemental Food Program. USDA purchases the food and makes it available to the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture (PDA), which works with local nonprofit agencies to facilitate distribution of the monthly food boxes to eligible participants. To apply, applicants should fill out a self-certification form and submit it to PDA at PDA will then route the application to the appropriate food bank providing service in the applicant's county of residence. Applicants can also call 800-468-2433 to be directed to the regional food bank distributing the Senior Food Box in their county of residence. More information is available at PDA's website.
SNAP Benefits for Seniors
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) helps Pennsylvanians buy food. People in eligible low-income households can obtain more nutritious diets with SNAP, which helps increase their food purchasing power at grocery stores and supermarkets. Those who are eligible receive an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) ACCESS Card to make food purchases. Studies show seniors enrolled in SNAP have better health and need less acute and long-term care. If everyone in the household is age 60 or older or has a disability, purchases and prepares food together, and does not receive any earnings from work, they can fill out a simple application. Visit the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services' website for more information.

Workforce Development

United Way of Pennsylvania Data/Information on ALICE®- Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed
Looking for data on Pennsylvanians who are working, but struggling to survive and afford child care? Visit the United Way of Pennsylvania's ALICE®, or Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed - website to learn more about the 27 percent of Pennsylvanians who work, but struggle to survive.

USDA Resource Guide to Help Rural Entrepreneurs
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has a resource guide available to help people in rural America start and grow businesses, create good-paying jobs in their communities and strengthen America’s economy. The guide features information on how rural entrepreneurs can use USDA and other federal programs to access financing and other assistance to help start and expand their businesses. It includes tools to help them: expand their access to capital to create small business incubators; create value-added agricultural products; access high-speed internet to connect their businesses to national and global markets; cut energy costs; access health care resources to enhance the quality of life for their employees; and access workforce development and training opportunities to improve their skills, products and services. The guide also features firsthand stories from Rural Development customers on ways USDA programs and services have helped them start or expand businesses. To learn more about investment resources for rural areas, visit USDA Rural Development or contact the USDA Rural Development Pennsylvania Office.

USDA Invites Partners to Join the Rural Workforce Innovation Network (RWIN)
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) established the Rural Workforce Innovation Network (RWIN) to create a forum for public and private partners to help increase access to workforce opportunities across rural America. This network represents governmental entities, colleges and universities, nonprofit organizations, and private businesses that are actively working to improve workforce development in their local communities. The kick-off meeting for this effort has already taken place, but more meetings are planned. Click here to learn more and join the network.