The coronavirus pandemic is impacting businesses that rely on direct contact with their customers, including farmers and ranchers who primarily sell their products through farmers’ markets and to restaurants, schools, and other institutions.
In fact, a new report estimated local and regional food systems could lose up to $1.3 billion between just March and May.
To help directly support farmers impacted by the current crisis, American Farmland Trust is launching a new Farmer Relief Fund. All donations to the fund will go directly to farmers.
AFT’s Farmer Relief Fund will award farmers with cash grants of up to $1,000 each to help them weather the current storm of market disruptions caused by the coronavirus crisis.
Initially, eligible applicants include any small and mid-size direct-market producers. These are defined as producers with annual gross revenue of between $10,000 and $1 million from sales at farmers’ markets and/or direct sales to restaurants, caterers, schools, stores, or makers who use farm products as inputs.
The application is simple and easy to complete, but includes sufficient detail to ensure AFT is awarding producers who have the greatest needs. Applicants will be asked to estimate their financial loss. AFT envisions an initial application round extending until April 23, with grants beginning to be made by May 1.
More information is available at www.farmland.org/farmer-relief-fund.