Podcast: On 50th Anniversary of Federal Program, Trahan Touts Local Decision-Making Benefits

Anna Jaques Hospital President Glenn D. Focht speaks in front of the Freight Farm. (WHAV News photograph.)

Congresswoman Lori Trahan. (WHAV News photograph.)

From firefighters to fresh lettuce, Congresswoman Lori Trahan discussed local advances made possible with federal dollars on the 50th anniversary of Community Development Block Grants.

During a visit Wednesday to WHAV’s “Win for Breakfast” program, she told listeners she is impressed with how the YMCA used CDBG funds to help with its Freight Farm project, saying it’s helping young students develop unexpected skills at school.

“Highly interactive, experiential learning, biology, chemistry and business all in real time, and it’s just great to see this program getting support from private sector partners like Beth Israel Lahey and the city in the form of nearly $33,000 in funding from the city’s Community Development Block Grant award,”  she said.

Trahan says she is a big fan of Community Development Block Grants, because of their flexibility.

“So, it is a vehicle for federal funds to make their way directly to cities and towns. They don’t go through the state, so they can use those funds on local initiatives, local projects. They can help nonprofits with capacity building. It’s true that a city and town is closest to where the gaps are.”

To emphasize her point, Trahan says cities and towns can make better decisions on how to dispense the money to address local needs. “Obviously a project like the Y’s Freight Farm, providing students with such a cool interactive learning experience is just a great example of those funds at work.”

Trahan told listeners she was given some lettuce and kale from the Freight Farm to take home to her family.

As WHAV previously reported, Trahan is the Northern Essex Community College commencement speaker Saturday, May 18.

“It’s always an honor to go to speak to graduates as they embark on the next chapter of their lives. For me, it’s so motivating and energizing to see the future of our country kind of move onto the workforce with all their aspirations,” she said.

Besides WHAV.net, WHAV’s “Merrimack Valley Newsmakers” podcasts are available via Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music, Spotify, iHeart, Google Podcasts, TuneIn and Alexa.

Comments are closed.