LUBBOCK, Texas (WIBW) - Sonny Perdue, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, has announced that the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program or CFAP will provide up to $16 billion in direct payments to America’s farmers and ranchers that have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The United States Department of Agriculture has also said that the Farmers to Families Food Box program will be partnering with regional and local distributors to purchase $3 billion in fresh produce, dairy, meat and delivery boxes to Americans in need.
“America’s farming community is facing an unprecedented situation as our nation tackles the coronavirus,” says Perdue. “President Trump has authorized USDA to ensure our patriotic farmers, ranchers and producers are supported and we are moving quickly to open applications to get payments out the door and into the pockets of farmers.”
The USDA, through the Farm Service Agency, will be accepting applications from agricultural producers that have suffered loss due to the virus starting May 26.
“These payments will help keep farmers afloat while market demand returns as our nation reopens and recovers. America’s farmers are resilient and will get through this challenge just like they always do with faith, hard work and determination,” says Perdue.
Farmers and ranchers will receive direct support from two possible funding sources. The first of which is the $9.5 billion provided by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Stability (CARES) Act in order to take care of farmers for losses due to price declines because of COVID-19. This first one will provide support for specialty crops. The second source is the Commodity Credit Corporation Charter Act to compensate producers for the $6.5 billion they lost due to the ongoing market disruptions.