Planting Seeds - Food & Farming News from CDFA

USDA offers $700 million in grants to provide relief to farm and food workers impacted by COVID-19

From a USDA news release

USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced that $700 million in competitive grant funding will be available through the new Farm and Food Workers Relief (FFWR) grant program to help farmworkers and meatpacking workers with pandemic-related health and safety costs.

The program will provide relief to farmworkers, meatpacking workers, and front-line grocery workers for expenses incurred due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This relief is intended to defray costs for reasonable and necessary personal, family, or living expenses related to the COVID-19 pandemic, such as costs for personal protective equipment (PPE), dependent care, and expenses associated with quarantines and testing related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Funds will be awarded through grants to state agencies, tribal entities, and non-profit organizations serving farmworkers and meatpacking workers. The USDA is setting aside $20 million for at least one pilot to provide targeted support to front-line grocery workers. Eligible entities must demonstrate the capacity to reimburse farmworkers and meatpacking workers for up to $600 for expenses incurred due to the novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

The grant program requires applicants to show connectedness to hard-to-reach worker populations either directly or in partnerships with other local organizations. Applicants should be able to describe how they will partner with smaller organizations to facilitate financial relief to such populations.

The Request for Application (RFA) will be announced in early Fall and will be open for 60 days. Additional information, including technical assistance for applying for these grants, will be provided by USDA when the application period opens.

For more information about upcoming webinars, grant eligibility, and program requirements, visit the FFWR webpage at, or contact the USDA at

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