UFW Foundation to Distribute One-Time $600 Payment to Farm Workers for Pandemic Relief
Applications are not available at this time; details on how to apply through UFW Foundation will be forthcoming
The United States Department of Agriculture today announced that the UFW Foundation has been selected as a grantee for the Farm and Food Worker Relief (FFWR) Grant Program to provide a one-time $600 payment to agriculture workers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The UFW Foundation will have seven subrecipient organizations that will also be providing critical outreach and application support to workers.
The program was designed to provide relief to farm workers, meatpacking workers and front-line grocery workers for expenses incurred due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Details of eligibility criteria to qualify for the $600 one-time payment will be forthcoming. The application period start date is yet to be determined.
Relief payments will be available to eligible frontline workers in farming activities, meatpacking, and grocery store work during the period extending from January 27, 2020 until the emergency period has been declared over. Eligibility requirements include identity and employment verification, and immigration status is not a factor. There is no cost to apply for the Farm and Food Workers Relief (FFWR). Only organizations awarded the grant by the USDA may process Farm and Food Workers Relief (FFWR) applications. Potential applicants are reminded to not provide personal documents or any form of identification to unapproved organizations. The organizations listed on the USDA website are the only entities selected to provide these funds.
The UFW Foundation worked tirelessly to advance legislation that would empower USDA to support farm workers throughout the pandemic. COVID-19 Congress relief packages failed to provide pandemic assistance to millions of undocumented persons, many of whom pay taxes through Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers and continued laboring during the pandemic, including farm workers. That is why UFW Foundation has been advocating for farm worker pandemic relief—making it known that even though farm workers are essential workers, they haven’t been treated as such. Additionally, unlike other workers, farm workers federally do not qualify for overtime pay, typically receive low wages, and experience poor working conditions.
Below is the list of the UFW Foundation’s subrecipients for the USDA FFWR Program:
“The COVID-19 pandemic left our most essential workers to fend for themselves with no federal aid, low pay, dangerous working conditions, and little to no economic safety nets,” said UFW Foundation Executive Director Diana Tellefson Torres. “And yet, farm workers continued risking their lives for all of us to have food on our tables. We applaud the Biden-Harris Administration, Secretary Vilsack and USDA for recognizing the vital role of farm workers in the nation’s food security and economy through this program. Pandemic relief payments will make a significant impact in the day to day lives of farm workers affected by the pandemic. We have a lot of work ahead of us to ensure this much-needed pandemic relief reaches the hands of farm workers across the nation.”