Mar 27, 2020
Breaking: Aid coming to farmers after passage, signing of CARES Act

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue issued the following statement after President Donald J. Trump signed the CARES Act on March 27:

“The passage of the coronavirus response legislation will provide much needed relief to Americans across this country, especially workers and small-business owners who have been impacted by COVID-19. President Trump has made the safety and security of the American people a top priority during this national emergency, and this bill will help make Americans more financially secure. At USDA we will deliver relief assistance to farmers and ranchers as quickly as possible,” said Perdue.

“Americans across the nation are stepping up to the challenges facing them during these uncertain times. At USDA we are doing our part to ensure those who need help will get it, whether it’s through nutrition assistance, ensuring the food supply chain is safe and secure, or through new flexibilities with our Rural Development loan programs.”

The CARES Act contains $9.5 billion in assistance for agriculture producers who have been impacted by COVID-19 along with a $14 billion replenishment to the Commodity Credit Corporation. In addition, the legislation includes $100 million in ReConnect grants to expand access to broadband in rural America for educational purposes, business, and access to critical telehealth services.

The U.S. House of Representatives on March 27 passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which was passed unanimously by the Senate late on Wednesday evening. This $2 trillion, nearly 900-page bill, also being called “Phase 3” of the COVID-19 legislative responses, contains new programs and big changes, several of which will impact farmers and the food system at large.

United Fresh supports action

United Fresh Produce Association applauded Congress for passing the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. 

“The COVID-19 outbreak has been devastating for much of our fresh produce supply chain,“ said Tom Stenzel, President and CEO of United Fresh. “We’re grateful that Congress came together in a bipartisan fashion to provide this incredible $2 trillion package to help mitigate some of the immediate consequences throughout the economy.

Specifically, we thank Congressional leaders for including $9.5 billion targeted specifically for fruit and vegetables, livestock, dairy and regional food systems.  There is more work to do and we look forward to working with USDA Secretary Perdue and others to ensure that relief is felt throughout our supply chain. Our top priority remains stabilizing and ensuring that the entire fresh produce industry can keep the supply chain moving today, and be ready to support the foodservice economy when this crisis is over.”

A summary of the legislation developed by United Fresh can be found here:

http://www.unitedfresh.org/content/uploads/2020/03/Summary-of-CARES-Act-Emergency-Relief-United-Fresh-1.pdf

 


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