For farm, meat packing, and grocery store front line workers who incurred expenses related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the USDA is out with a variety of assistance programs.

"Well it's important for us to give recognition to these incredibly hard workers. I think it's also important for us to provide some level of support," noted Agriculture secretary Tom Vilsack. During this week's announcement of $700 million in competitive grant funding will be available for pandemic-related health and safety costs for eligible workers.
$20 million of this amount will be used for at least one pilot program to support grocery workers and test options for reaching them in the future.

"We expect and anticipate the publication of the request for applications to take place in the next couple of weeks."

Vilsack added in the coming weeks, a separate $700 million suite of pandemic safety and response grants will be announced for producers, processors, farmers markets, distributors, and seafood processors impacted by the pandemic. 

If you have a story idea for the PNW Ag Network, call (509) 547-1618, or e-mail

More From PNW Ag Network