WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is taking an important step forward in furthering its commitment to farmworkers, meatpacking workers, and grocery store workers by recognizing their essential role in America’s food system. Today, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that 15 grant recipients have been selected to receive funding through the Farm and Food Workers Relief Grant Program (FFWR). Organizations were selected for their proven track records working with farmworkers, meatpacking workers, and front-line grocery workers, their strong partnerships with worker-serving organizations, and their ability to provide services in critical geographic areas to collectively ensure nationwide coverage under this program.
“USDA is committed not only to acknowledging the work of our nation’s essential agricultural and food workers, but also ensuring they are not left out of opportunities for relief from the effects of the pandemic,” said Secretary Vilsack. “The grant recipients being announced today will help us provide relief payments to workers across the country who kept food moving to our families during an especially challenging time.”
The program, which is administered by USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), will use funding to provide relief to farmworkers and meatpacking workers who incurred pandemic-related health and safety costs. Funding is also set aside for three pilot programs to support grocery workers in recognition of their essential role in the pandemic response. These organizations are now preparing systems and will begin implementing outreach so that eligible farmworkers, meatpacking workers, and grocery workers may apply to these grant recipients to receive $600 payments soon. USDA anticipates that beneficiaries will be able to apply for funds from some of these recipients as soon as late November. Workers must provide valid proof of ID and employment to receive a payment.
Grant Recipients Supporting Farmworkers and/or Meatpacking Workers:
|Alianza Nacional de Campesinas, Inc.||Farm, Meatpacking||$48,247,075|
|Catholic Charities USA||Farm, Meatpacking||$9,021,306|
|Cherokee Nation||Farm, Meatpacking||$45,948,000|
|Community Resources and Housing Development Corporation||Farm, Meatpacking||$6,608,000|
|Hispanic Federation, Inc.||Farm, Meatpacking||$44,299,586|
|La Cooperativa Campesina de California||Farm||$36,000,000|
|National Center for Farmworker Health||Farm||$36,000,000|
|National Migrant and Seasonal Head Start Association||Farm||$57,374,541|
|Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture||Farm, Meatpacking||$34,637,242|
|Todec Legal Center Perris||Farm, Meatpacking||$4,500,000|
|UFCW Charity Foundation, Inc.||Farm, Meatpacking||$131,660,000|
|United Migrant Opportunity Services/ UMOS, Inc.||Farm, Meatpacking||$56,886,475|
|United Ways of California||Farm, Meatpacking||$41,965,538|
Grant Recipients Supporting Grocery Worker Pilot Programs:
|Chicanos Por La Causa, Inc.||Grocery||$10,000,000|
|UFCW Charity Foundation, Inc.||Grocery||$10,000,000|
These organizations will be providing payments to workers later in the fall. If you are a worker seeking relief payment, please check the AMS FFWR webpage regularly for updates, including information about the organizations selected to distribute the direct relief payments for workers and their coverage areas.
The relief provided through this program 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. This aligns with the administration’s efforts to revitalize the economy and provide relief to historically underserved communities.
AMS had previously established cooperative agreements with two organizations, UFW Foundation and Corazón Latino, to provide technical assistance, communications, and outreach support for this program. The TA partners will provide grant recipients with a suite of branded educational materials and toolkits to use for consistent FFWR messaging and to simplify the application process for eligible workers. Additional information is available on the AMS FFWR webpage.