The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) will provide direct payments to growers and grower-shippers of fresh produce for demonstrated losses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The program was announced by Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue on April 17. See initial information about the program here. Updated information was provided by the USDA recently.
Program details and the application process have not been released, but there are a few things producers can do now to prepare for the application process. USDA will soon begin taking applications for CFAP. As part of applying for the program, you’ll need to contact the USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) county office at your local USDA Service Center to schedule an appointment.
Your local FSA staff will work with you to apply for the program. Information you will need includes your Tax Identification Number, your adjusted gross income, and bank information to allow payments via direct deposit. Do not send any personal information to USDA without first initiating contact through a phone call to your FSA office.
More information about CFAP, including the forms you will need to fill out, can be found here.
USDA recommends that you start gathering and understanding your farm’s recent sales and inventory losses from COVID-19. Although the details for the application process have not been released, this information will be important to have once the program launches. CFAP is available to farmers regardless of size and market outlet.
USDA suggests contacting your local FSA office now to set up a phone appointment.
CFAP will use funding and authorities provided in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, and other USDA existing authorities. This $19 billion immediate relief program includes direct support to agricultural producers as well as the Food Box Distribution Program.
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