Maine group gets funding for refugee farmer project

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — The federal government’s investing more than $600,000 in a Portland group that works with immigrants and refugees to teach sustainable farming practices.

Democratic Rep. Chellie Pingree says the awards will go to Cultivating Community, which manages and supports urban food growing. One of the grants is a $100,000 award from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for a project to build refugee agriculture in Maine.

The other award’s for more than $500,000 and it’s from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Outreach and Assistance for Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers and Veteran Farmers and Ranchers Program. Pingree says it’s for Maine’s socially disadvantaged farmers.

Cultivating Community farmer training program director Alex Redfield says the grants will help the group partner with others to improve food access for new Mainers.

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