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COVID-19 Response & Resources

Last Updated: 6/25/2020

How We’re Supporting Impacted Farmers

RAFI-USA staff continue our current work on issues affecting farmers and rural communities. In addition, as the impacts of the coronavirus continue to unfold, we are evaluating what other work may be needed to mitigate the health and economic impacts of the pandemic. Some of our current work includes:

  • Supporting farmers markets and farmers whose marketing channels will be impacted by social distancing or school closure.
  • RAFI-USA offered emergency mini-grants for farmers who experienced a drastic loss of income as a result of the virus and need immediate assistance for household expenses.
  • The Farmers of Color Network awarded farmer grants this spring with consideration of how this grants program could better meet the needs of farmers given the impacts of COVID-19 on their businesses.

Are you a farmer whose business is impacted by social distancing or other coronavirus mitigation measures? Complete this brief survey to let us know how RAFI-USA can best support your business right now and after the pandemic threat has passed.

Resource List

Grant & Loan Opportunities

For Farmers

For Small Businesses and Communities

  • RAFI-USA’s Come to the Table program is awarding $1,000 grants to assist United Methodist churches wtih emergency hunger relief projects that incorporate local farmers or businesses – application cycle currently closed.
  • Natural Capital Investment Fund – COVID-19 Business Grants available for businesses in MD, NJ, NC, OH (Brown, Butler, Clermont, Hamilton and Warren Counties), PA, SC, VA, WV and Washington, D.C.
  • North Carolina COVID-19 Rapid Recovery for Small Businesses – emergency small business lending program created in partnership with Golden LEAF Foundation Thread Capital, Rural Center, and other NC lenders.
  • 3 Things to Know about Small Business Administration’s support for businesses impacted by coronavirus
  • Mountain BizWorks has a list of COVID-19 Rapid Recovery Financing options on their website, including a NC Business loan program.
  • The Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project (ASAP) launched the Appalachian Grown Farmer Relief Fund to provide direct + immediate assistance so farmers can find new markets, get marketing and financial support through grants or loans, and purchase unsold food for donation to hunger relief programs.

Webinars and Resources

For Farmers

For Farmers Market Managers, Farmworkers, and Communities

For Consumers

  • Where to Buy Local: map of farms in NC and SC providing on-farm, pick-up, or home delivery sales, Carolina Farm Stewardship Association
  • Meat Suite is a website designed to help consumers in NY and NC find locally produced, high quality meats in bulk
  • Connect with local farms using the Visit NC Farm App and arrange for curbside pickup or delivery of seasonal products

Official Guidance & Resources

For Farmers

For Communities and Organizations

For Consumers

Ways to Help

  • Donate to RAFI-USA: with your support we can continue to adapt our programming and policy advocacy to support farmers, farmworkers, and rural communities impacted by COVID-19
  • List of requested donations for NC farmworkers impacted by COVID-19, Episcopal Farmworkers Ministry
  • Firsthand Foods Community Fund – Effort to raise $8,000 in 60 days to donate meat to the Food Bank of Central & Eastern NC

RAFI-USA Staff

In an effort to do our part for social distancing, RAFI-USA staff are working remotely until further notice. Events and meetings that were scheduled have been cancelled or postponed. Due to our flexible work from home policy, RAFI-USA staff are equipped to continue most of our work remotely.