RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Three health care organizations in rural North Carolina towns, including one in Vance County, are receiving a total of $1.8 million in federal grants to improve their facilities.

In announcing the grants Thursday, U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development Under Secretary Xochitl Torres Small said the agency is “committed to making sure that people, no matter where they live, have access to high-quality and reliable health care services like urgent care, primary care, and dental care.”

The recipients in North Carolina and grant amounts include:

VANCE COUNTY, $44,000: Turning Point Community Development Corp. will purchase means and pay for food distribution expenses created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

BUNCOMBE COUNTY, $760,000: The WNC Bridge Foundation will purchase COVID-19 supplies, medical equipment and packaged meals. It will provide medical care via special and regularly scheduled community events at centers where COVID vaccines and screenings for other chronic conditions will be available.

MITCHELL COUNTY, $1 million: Bakersville Community Medical Clinic Inc. will purchase COVID-related supplies to expand testing and vaccination efforts.

Nationally, a total of $74 million is being spent to improve health care for people in 37 state, Guam and Puerto Rico. Those investments include $32 million that will help more than 1 million people in socially vulnerable communities, USDA said.

The agency made these Emergency Rural Health Care grants available through the American Rescue Plan Act in August 2021.