As part of the Farm and Food Workers Relief Grant Program, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the delivery of a one-time $600 stimulus payment for eligible agricultural and food industry workers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Fourteen nonprofit organizations and one tribal entity will distribute these funds to qualifying applicants in 2023.
Next, we will answer the following questions:
- What is the Farm and Food Workers Relief Grant Program?
- What are the eligibility requirements?
- What is the application process?
- Is immigration status a factor in the application process?
- How and when can eligible workers expect to receive a payment?
- Where can I submit my application?
What is the Farm and Food Workers Relief Grant Program?
The Farm and Food Workers Relief Grant Program (FFWR) provided approximately $670 million in funds to fourteen nonprofit organizations and one tribal entity. These organizations will hold an application period and then distribute a one-time payment of $600 to farmworkers, meatpacking workers, and front-line grocery workers for expenses incurred due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
What are the eligibility requirements?
Eligible beneficiaries for this program are defined as hired workers in farming activities, meatpacking, or grocery store work who worked in either of these industries from January 27, 2020, until the pandemic is declared over. Below are examples of job roles in each sector provided by the USDA:
- Fieldworkers: Employees engaged in planting, tending, and harvesting crops. Other examples include tending to livestock, milking cows, or caring for poultry.
- Meatpacking workers: Employees engaged in animal slaughtering and meat or poultry processing, including meat or poultry packaging.
- Grocery store workers: Employees engaged as cashiers, butchers, meat cutters, food preparation occupations, stocking grocery floors, and other food-related activities.
There is no age requirement, and immigration status is not one of the eligibility criteria under this program. You will not have to disclose your immigration status to apply.
What is the application process?
There is no cost to apply for the program. Workers can only apply once through one of the 15 nonprofit organizations mentioned below. Each organization will have its own application process, but they will likely ask for the following documents:
- Proof of employment at a food processing facility, meatpacking facility, farm, or grocery store, such as a W-2 tax form or paycheck stubs.
- Proof of identification.
- Confirmation that you have not received a payment through another organization.
How and when can eligible workers expect to receive a payment?
Only the following organizations may process Farm and Food Workers Relief (FFWR) applications, and they may have application periods that begin at different times.
- Alianza Nacional de Campesinas, Inc.
- Catholic Charities USA
- Cherokee Nation
- Chicanos Por La Causa, Inc.
- Community Resources and Housing Development Corporation
- Hispanic Federation, Inc.
- La Cooperativa Campesina de California
- Distribution of cash payments has begun. Click on the link above for important contact information.
- National Center for Farmworker Health
- National Migrant and Seasonal Head Start Association
- Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture
- Applications will open in March 2023.
- Todec Legal Center Perris
- Call TODEC to apply: 1-888-863-3291 or click here to fill out an interest form.
- UFCW Charity Foundation, Inc.
- UFW Foundation
- Applications are now open! Call the UFW Foundation Call Center Hotline at (877) 881-8281 to apply.
- United Migrant Opportunity Services/ UMOS, Inc.
- United Ways of California
Visit the awarded grants page for future updates about service coverage areas and deadlines to apply.
Where can I submit my application?
To find out which organization you should apply through, click here. The link will take you to an interactive map. Once you click on the state you live in, the organizations that will provide payments to your area will be listed, along with their contact information.