On November 18, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the official launch of the AskUSDA Contact Center program – a centralized hub for phone, chat and web inquiries. AskUSDA also contains thousands of answers to frequently asked questions for USDA programs that serve a variety of audiences. This new portal will help streamline and improve USDA’s customer service process for recipients of nutrition services, disaster aid or federal grants and loans.
USDA provides many critical programs and services that counties – particularly rural counties – rely on. While there are many funding opportunities for rural counties through USDA loan and grant programs, the application process for these funds can be challenging to navigate. Earlier this year, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, USDA announced their COVID-19 Federal Rural Resource Guide which contains information about programs and funding opportunities for rural counties to help address the public health crisis. AskUSDA will help county officials better understand these new resources and navigate the application process more efficiently.
The public can contact AskUSDA by phone at (833) ONE-USDA between 9:00 am-5:30 pm EST on weekdays. The website is available 24/7 and live chat agents are available 10:00 am-6:00 pm EST on weekdays. Inquiries can also be sent via email at any time to firstname.lastname@example.org.