There’s now a one-stop webpage for Florida growers to keep up with COVID-19 food and agriculture-related information. The Keep Florida Growing webpage was launched April 13 by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS).
“With COVID-19 deeply affecting not only Floridians but also agriculture, our state’s second-largest economic driver, we’re launching a new one-stop page to support consumers and our agriculture community,” said Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried. “We’re bringing together Floridians and their food producers in one place to share state and federal resources, ways to buy and sell farm-fresh Florida products, and information on steps we’re taking to keep Florida growing.”
The webpage features the Florida Farm To You commodities list, where agriculture producers can list their farm-fresh products to be found by buyers, food banks and consumers. Many agricultural producers have struggled to sell perishable products like fruits and vegetables in the face of restaurant and food-service businesses closed due to COVID-19. The commodities list is updated daily with Florida-grown products.
The page also features information on economic assistance for agriculture producers, such as Small Business Administration loans, U.S. Department of Agriculture assistance and state emergency bridge loans. There’s also details about state purchasing programs for agricultural commodities, and the latest actions FDACS is taking to support farmers, including emergency orders.
For non-agriculturists, the webpage offers information for consumers and the news media. Consumers can locate U-pick farms where they can find farm-fresh produce. Consumers can also find information about FDACS food-assistance programs. Those programs include Summer BreakSpot meals for children under 18 during school closures and Emergency Food Assistance Program locations for low-income families.
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