U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor, D-Fla., announced last week that her team worked to deliver over $10 million in aid, benefits and refunds to veterans, seniors, small businesses and families in 2022, including over $4.8 million to veterans and service members; over $2.3 billion in federal grants to create jobs, lower costs, invest in our schools and infrastructure, help our community recover from the Covid19 pandemic, and support the important work of local partners; and an additional $132.3 million in federal grants from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law that Castor championed in Congress.
“My Tampa constituent services team works tirelessly to cut through red tape on behalf of the families, veterans and businesses. We tragically lost the heart of Team Castor, Tery Sanchez, earlier this year, but have continued to meet the needs of our neighbors in her honor and have delivered historic returns. I am grateful for all that Tery, along with Steven Angotti, Tania Fernandez, Damaris Gonzalez and Sean Saintil – as well as the help of the entire Castor Team – did this year. Their expertise and compassion are critical to ensuring that veterans receive the benefits they have earned and to guarantee that survival stimulus payments, Social Security, Medicare are delivered on time,” she said.
“Amazingly, 812 federal grants bolstered neighborhoods from North Tampa to USF to West Tampa and more – for a total of $2,312,900,550 including important investments in housing, Tampa’s Riverwalk, safer streets, and medical research. I love my hometown and am committed to lifting every neighbor through growing public transit , Feeding Tampa Bay through expanded food assistance, and other local organizations that are investing in skills career training to expand good-paying jobs and apprenticeships and so much more,” Castor added.
“Our health heroes – present and future – received a major boost with a $1 million grant from the Department of Health and Human Services to USF that is aimed at recruiting and training nursing students and current registered nurses to increase access to care, with an emphasis on chronic disease prevention and control, including mental health and substance use conditions. HART also received a $300,000 grant through American Rescue Plan funds that helped them restore service and keep essential services moving after the pandemic. Bay Area Legal Services is always there for our neighbors, and an $800,000 grant has helped struggling individuals and families with free and low-cost legal services as they recovered from Hurricane Sally. The Tampa community is blessed with volunteers and organizations who are working to creatively and compassionately solve problems, and I was proud to partner with them to get these initiatives over the finish line,” she continued.
“Not included in that amount are the 16 federal grants – totaling $132,304, 671 – that our community secured from the landmark Infrastructure Investment and Job Act. From funds to fix our roads and expand safe pathways for pedestrians and cyclists, we are building safer communities, and creating jobs along the way. Port Tampa Bay also received a critical $12.6M grant that will create good-paying jobs and build a new dock so that larger cargo ships can utilize the Port. We’ll see lower costs through this construction and cement Port Tampa Bay’s place as a thoroughfare that’s critical to our state and nation’s economy,” Castor said.
“Looking ahead, in 2023 we will deliver more investments critical to our economy and our neighbors’ well-being. The Tampa Bay area is a special community, and I will stand up for my neighbors to bring every federal dollar home. I am grateful for the work of my team and the partnership of local leaders, businesses and nonprofits that allows our community to secure grants that will keep Tampa Bay an outstanding place to live,” she concluded.
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