Remember Relief for Local Food Systems: APPPA Signs Letter to Secretary Perdue

Thu, April 02, 2020 8:27 AM | Anonymous

Congress recently approved The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act (H.R.748), which provides $9.5 billion in support for “agricultural producers impacted by coronavirus, including producers of specialty crops, producers that supply local food systems, including farmers markets, restaurants, and schools, and livestock producers, including dairy producers.”

The economic impact of social distancing and shutting down society is uneven within the local food economy. Many APPPA members have been able to shift their distribution models to focus on online sales and direct delivery to families. They are seeing unprecedented demand.  However, farms who rely heavily on other direct markets, such as restaurants, specialty retailer stores, and institutions, have seen devastating reductions in sales. They are left scrambling to shift sales models on-the-fly. 

The National Sustainable Agricultural Coalition (NSAC) organized a letter to Secretary Perdue to remind the Secretary that local, direct-market farms are expected to incur a loss estimated at more than $1 billion dollars. APPPA eagerly agreed to sign onto that letter with 11 other organizations. 

The letter reads, in part: 

As you work through these challenging times to swiftly implement this provision of the CARES Act, we urge you to ensure that farmers and ranchers who have lost local and regional markets due to the pandemic receive financial relief, especially direct assistance, that is commensurate with their expected losses of over $1 billion.

Read the full letter

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