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Support for Farmers Impacted by COVID-19

Below is a list of resources available to support farmers during COVID-19. This list will be updated with new info weekly.

 

A Closer Look at Farmer Relief in Senate Pandemic Aid Package:

The most significant agricultural provision is the creation of a new $9.5 billion disaster relief program to provide “support for producers impacted by the coronavirus.” The funding is reserved for:

  • Specialty crop producers
  • Livestock producers (including dairy)
  • Producers that supply local food systems (including farmers markets, restaurants, and schools

Farmers’ Guide to COVID-19 Relief – A Publication of Farmers’ Legal Action Group, Inc. Several of the programs discussed in this Guide are the product of the CARES Act. This guide will focus on how these various programs can provide relief to farmers.


Safe Food Handling Practices 
Please review the US Food and Drug Administration’s FAQ’s regarding COVID-19, scroll down to “Food Products”. Please also review the FDA’s Safe Handling Protocols for your farm.


Farmer Relief Fund – American Farmland Trust
Farms and ranches engaged in direct sales are estimated to lose anywhere from $700 million to $1.3 billion in sales between March and May alone. All monies raised will go directly to farmers. The fund will award eligible farmers with cash grants of up to $1,000 each to help them weather the current storm of market disruptions caused by the COVID-19 crisis. The initial focus will be on farms that sell at farmers markets or to restaurants, caterers, schools, stores, or makers who use farm products. That’s why AFT is launching the Farmer Relief Fund.


Small Business AdministrationPaycheck Protection Program (PPP): authorizes up to $349 billion in forgivable loans to small businesses to pay their employees during the COVID-19 crisis. You can apply through any existing SBA lender or through any federally insured depository institution, federally insured credit union, and Farm Credit System institution that is participating. Other regulated lenders will be available to make these loans once they are approved and enrolled in the program. You should consult with your local lender as to whether it is participating. Visit www.sba.gov for a list of SBA lenders.


Financial Support for Small Farm & Food Businesses Impacted by COVID-19: King County DNRP Agriculture Program has collected local, state and federal resources for Washington State food and farm businesses impacted by the spread of COVID-19 in a single document. Most federal support for farms comes through USDA crop insurance and FSA disaster programs.


Financial Resources for Washington Residents Impacted by COVID-19: The Washington State Department of Financial Institutions has developed a list of financial resources for Washington consumers impacted by the Coronavirus. We will add to this list as more resources become available.

  • Assessing your financial institution
  • Unemployment help
  • Trouble paying credit cards, mortgage, or rent
  • Student loans deferment
  • Short term and emergency loans
  • Paying utilities, insurance issues, avoiding scams

Washington Law Help
Get legal help and info.


USDA Farm Service Agency Disaster Assistance Programs
USDA offers a variety of programs and services to help communities, farmers, ranchers, and businesses.

USDA Rural Development  – USDA is granting lenders a temporary exception to offer payment deferrals for Agency guaranteed loan programs due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


COVID-19 Resources – Washington State Department of Agriculture


Coronavirus (COVID-19) Business Resources in Washington State – Center for Inclusive Entrepreneurship 
Business resources which includes information on financial assistance and SBDC resiliency webinars.


Keep up to date about COVID-19:
Washington State Department of Health
Clallam County
Jefferson County Public Health
Kitsap Public Health District

Additional Resources:

 

Friday WSU Food Systems COVID-19 Hub Meetings: Platform to convene leaders from across WSU and the Washington food system for a weekly action-based networking meeting – Fridays from 10am – 12pm. The goal is to leverage all participants’ unique skill sets to better collaborate, and to assess and respond to COVID-19 related needs on an ongoing basis. Farmers and farm businesses encouraged to attend.

Oregon Tilth: Ongoing webinar series and offerings for farmers dealing with COVID-19

Washington Young Farmers Coalition: COVID-19 resource list
Farm Direct Sales Sofware list and comparison

Rural Advancement Foundation International (RAFI): Comprehensive list of COVID-19 Resources and shared practices

The Local Food Trust – The mission of The Local Food Trust is to strengthen communities by bringing philanthropy to food and farming.


Clallam County Specific:

Clallam County Economic Development Council Business Support
Check our their website with the latest information for Clallam County.

Jefferson County Specific:

LION Announces COVID-19 Emergency Loan Program
LION, the Local Investing Opportunities Network, has established a new loan program for Jefferson County businesses and non-profits needing funding to deal with the COVID-19 emergency. The loan application and instructions are downloadable from the the LION website at http://L2020.org/lion/. A fast track process has been established to handle the applications. Further information about the LION COVID-19 Emergency Loan Program can be obtained from Brian Kuh, lion@edcteamjefferson.org, (360) 379-4693.

The COVID-19 Emergency Fund
Jefferson Community Foundation – along with partners United Good Neighbors and the Housing Solutions Network – launched the COVID-19 Emergency Fund. This emergency funding campaign will support local nonprofits and community-serving government agencies that help meet basic human needs and are facing an increased demand for services or are dealing with their own organization’s financial hardship.  Anyone can make a donation by clicking here. People can give to a general fund or directly to one of the local organizations who has registered with the campaign. The list of organizations will grow in the upcoming days and weeks to come as more response efforts are rolled out.  Organizations that want to have needs posted – ones that help meet basic human needs and are facing an increased demand for services or are dealing with their own organization’s financial hardship – can email Jen Kingfisher or call her 360.385.1729.

Kitsap County Specific:

Farm to Food Pantry Program – Kitsap County
Kitsap Conservation District is seeking farmers to contract for the 2020 growing season for the Kitsap Farm to Food Pantry Program at this time. Funds are available to purchase produce directly from local farms for local food banks.  Please contact Diane Fish at KCD for more information on this program. Diane Fish, d-fish@kitsapcd.org, 360-620-8101

Kitsap Community Foundation COVID-19 Response Fund
Hosted by Kitsap Community Foundation and United Way of Kitsap County, the Unity in the Community COVID-19 Response Fund will rapidly deploy flexible resources to nonprofits and individuals in Kitsap and North Mason County. With an emphasis on increasing resiliency in disproportionately affected nonprofits and their associated workers in our community, this fund will address the economic impact of reduced and lost revenue and wages due to the broader COVID-19 outbreak.