Mixed Valley reaction to White House drought plan

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The White House announced new actions to support drought-stricken communities. Western states will benefit from over $100 million dollars in funding.

To assist families hit hard by the drought the US Department of Agriculture will establish over 700 summer food service sites in the Valley. President Obama told western governors of his plans.

White House senior advisor Brian Deese said, "The president told the governors we would be making new investments totaling more than $110 million dollars to support workers, farmers in rural communities suffering from the impact of drought and wildfire."

$18 million dollars could be made available to California to offer jobs to workers displaced by the drought. The jobs would include reducing wildfire risk.

Blake Konczal of the Fresno Regional Workforce Connection said, "When they lose a job at one location they look for new work almost immediately so the fact that we'll able to offer this different type of work in the same geographic area will help with family stability."

But Ryan Jacobsen of the Fresno County Farm Bureau said growers would rather see more delta water moved south rather than funding for programs.

Jacobsen said, "I think a lot of the local folks here would prefer to see the actual water being sent down here and used for job creation instead of handouts."

Jacobsen downplayed the impact of the programs. He explained, "When you look at the overall scheme of what kind of difference some of these programs can make in this type of drought situation - very minor."

The plan also called for $10 million dollars in funding to reduce the risk of wildfire.

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