Yakima County will receive $187,165 to fund response efforts for the COVID-19 pandemic.

The state Department of Commerce awarded $1.8 million in grants to 17 rural counties. County governments have the discretion to use the funds to meet different needs, including food and rental assistance, small business support and health services.

The grants are from the state Community Development Block Grant program, which provides funding to rural communities to meet local needs. The program receives an annual allocation from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Reach Mai Hoang at maihoang@yakimaherald.com or Twitter @maiphoang