- Associated Press - Thursday, December 22, 2016

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) - The U.S. Department of Agriculture says it invested $365 million in 465 New Hampshire and Vermont communities in the last federal fiscal year.

That’s according to the USDA’s annual report published Thursday. In total, Vermont received nearly $150 million in investments while New Hampshire saw $216 million. The money went toward programs aimed at reducing poverty and investing in local food systems and renewable energy.

The agency says the investments helped create or retain 1,231 between the two states.

The money funded initiatives such as the building of a new wood pellet mill in Vermont, offering low-interest loans to low-income people for home repairs and efficiency upgrades, and improving broadband, wastewater and other community infrastructure.

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