Press Release | 3 MIN READ

RCAP Supports Senate Farm Bill, Urges Swift Passage in House to Bring Expanded Funding and Solutions to Rural Communities

May 2, 2024 By RCAP

Washington, D.C. (May 2, 2024) – The Rural Community Assistance Partnership Incorporated (RCAP) today announced its strong support for the “Rural Prosperity and Food Security Act,” introduced by the Chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D – Mich.). This crucial legislation is aimed at addressing the pressing needs of rural families and economies by providing innovative solutions and program flexibility.

The Act tackles various challenges faced by rural communities, such as workforce housing, childcare, local and regional food systems, ongoing disasters, and the development of rural economies. One key provision of the bill is the Rural Partnerships Program (RPP), which allocates $50 million in baseline funding throughout the bill’s lifetime, ensuring continuous support for locally-led investments in rural areas. RCAP greatly appreciates Sen. Stabenow’s work to keep this vital component in the bill.

The Rural Partnerships Program is designed to fulfill the federal government’s commitment to rural America, guaranteeing equitable access to flexible funding tailored to meet the unique needs of residents. This program eliminates barriers that have hindered rural communities from accessing the assistance they require. It directly enables local governments, tribes, nonprofits, cooperatives, community-based organizations, higher education institutions, and technical assistance providers to be eligible for this program.

“I am grateful that this first step has been taken toward passing the Farm Bill and am incredibly heartened that the bill includes strong investments like $200 million in mandatory funding for water and community facilities programs, as well as funding for expanded technical assistance for water cybersecurity and disaster recovery,” said RCAP CEO Olga Morales Pate. “We look forward to continuing to work with both parties to pass a final, bipartisan bill that will improve life in rural America.”

Access to reliable broadband, affordable housing, safe drinking water, locally-sourced foods, good jobs, practical healthcare, secure childcare, and quality education should be available to every American, regardless of their location. This bill transforms this vision into reality by making substantial investments through over 100 bipartisan bills, unlocking the full economic potential of rural communities.

RCAP primarily works with underserved and Tribal communities with an average population of approximately 1,500, and low-income areas, and welcomes these investments in the RPP. These communities will now have year-round funding without being hindered by the appropriations process or future Farm Bill delays. These funds will revitalize their economies and enhance the quality of life for rural America.

We urge Congress to swiftly pass the Rural Prosperity and Food Security Act, recognizing the urgent need to support rural families and economies. This bipartisan effort makes good on our commitment to ensuring a prosperous future for rural communities across the nation.

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About RCAP
RCAP is a national non-profit network providing opportunity, assistance, and practical guidance to small communities in all fifty states, the U.S. territories, and on Tribal lands to ensure access to safe drinking water, sanitary waste disposal, and economic prosperity for rural America. RCAP and its more than 350 technical assistance providers work together with rural communities and partners across the country to elevate rural voices and build long-term local capacity to improve quality of life, starting at the tap.

Media Contact:
Seth Johnson
Senior Communications Manager
[email protected]