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COVID-19 Emergency Relief grant application now open for farmers

Applications open until all funds are awarded

Update, March 19, 2021: All grant funds have been awarded. We are no longer accepting applications for this grant. Fill out the inquiry form if you’d like to be informed if there are similar funding opportunities in the future.

For most of us, March marks a full year since COVID-19 upended our lives, businesses, and communities. Over the last year, farmers and agricultural producers have faced significant financial difficulties due to disrupted markets, concerns over employee safety, and unexpected costs required to pivot market channels. Although we’ve seen COVID-19 aid direct payments for farmers through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Coronavirus Food Assistance Program, many farmers are still struggling. RAFI-USA recognizes that farmers across the country are facing extreme difficulties, especially as they start covering operating costs for the upcoming growing season. To help lessen the financial toll, RAFI-USA is distributing emergency relief grants. There are two types of funding available; either for household expenses or farm-related expenses. Farmers may only apply for one of the following grant relief options.

COVID-19 Expense Reimbursement – RAFI-USA will reimburse farmers up to $1,000 for farm expenses made after March 1, 2020 related to COVID-19. This may include costs for PPE, online sales platforms, labeling, and packaging, or processing and refrigeration infrastructure necessary to adapt farm operations to COVID-19 disruptions. Applicants must submit all receipts for which they wish to receive reimbursement.

Household Relief – $500 grant intended to lessen the immediate financial needs of farmers and their households. Funds could cover expenses like food, medical bills, utility bills, etc. The funds are NOT meant to cover farm-related expenses.

To see if you would be a good candidate for this funding and access the application, please read the following information:

Purpose of Funds: The two grant options are meant to either lessen immediate household expenses OR reimburse farmers for COVID-19-related, unexpected farm expenses.

Eligibility: Those who are actively involved with farm or fishery operations in North Carolina, Virginia, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, and U.S. Virgin Islands may apply. Farmers who did not previously receive RAFI-USA emergency relief funding will be prioritized. (Do you live in an ineligible state? Fill out this inquiry form to be notified in the event of future relief funding that includes your state.)

Priority Applicants: Because available funds are limited, we will prioritize farmers who:

1) are severely impacted by COVID-19 to the degree they’re struggling to cover household or farm expenses,

2) earn a substantial portion of their household income from farming,

3) did not previously receive RAFI-USA emergency relief funding.

Application and Payment Process: The application for emergency relief funds is now live. There is an online application (link below). If you would like to prepare your answers in advance you may download the Word Document version below. However, you must submit your application through the online portal in order to be considered. Applications will be reviewed and awarded in the order they are submitted. The application will close when all funds are awarded. We expect funds to go quickly so apply early.

Complete Online Application Here

Word Document Application – to prepare answers

Questions?

Contact Lisa at [email protected] if you have any questions about the grant, application, or eligibility.