The US Department of Agriculture announced a new program, Coronavirus Food Assistance Program. The $19 billion program is designed to support farm families, producers, and rural communities.
In the program, $16 billion is designated for direct support to farm families and ranchers, based on losses impacted by the pandemic.
While working with local food banks, faith-based organizations and community relief, $3 billion will purchase meat, produce, and dairy products for distribution to Americans in need.
For more information about the program, click here.
Important information regarding the program include:
Feeding Kids and Families
- USDA expanded flexibilities and waivers in all 50 states and territories to ensure kids and families who need food can get it during this national emergency.
- USDA is partnering with the Baylor Collaborative on Hunger and Poverty, McLane Global, PepsiCo, and others to deliver more than 1,000,000 meals a week to students in a limited number of rural schools closed due to COVID-19.
- USDA expanded an innovative SNAP online grocery purchase pilot program in Arizona and California, Florida and Idaho, and DC and North Carolina, in addition to Alabama, Iowa, Nebraska, New York, Oregon and Washington.
Actions to Ensure a Strong Food Supply Chain
- USDA is working to ensure the food supply remains safe and secure.
- USDA announced flexibilities to ensure food distribution for certain food products like dairy and eggs reach retail settings.
- USDA announced farm loan flexibilities, deferrals (PDF, 243 KB), and maturity extensions.
Whole of Government Response in Rural America
- USDA released The COVID-19 Federal Rural Resource Guide (PDF, 349 KB), a first-of-its-kind resource for rural leaders looking for federal funding and partnership opportunities to help address this pandemic.
- USDA opened a second application window (April 14, 2020 to July 13, 2020) for $72 million of funding under the Distance Learning and Telemedicine (DLT) grant program.
- USDA Rural Development lenders may offer 180-day loan payment deferrals without prior agency approval for Business and Industry Loan Guarantees, Rural Energy for America Program Loan Guarantees, Community Facilities Loan Guarantees, and Water and Waste Disposal Loan Guarantees.
- USDA will use the $100 million provided for the ReConnect Program in the CARES Act to invest in qualified 100 percent grant projects.
For all the information on USDA’s work during the COVID-19 pandemic and resources available, please visit www.usda.gov/coronavirus.USDA_COVID-19_Fed_Rural_Resource_Guide