USDA providing USD 50 million in grants to seafood suppliers, processors
The U.S. Department of Agriculture said will soon dole out USD 50 million (EUR 42 million) in grants via its Seafood Processors Pandemic Response and Safety Block Grant.
The agency will soon publish requests for applications for the new COVID-19 relief program for seafood processors as well as for its Pandemic Response and Safety (PRS) Grant Program “to support agricultural stakeholders who haven’t yet received substantial federal financial assistance in responding to the COVID-19 crisis,” the agency said in a press release.
The grant programs will provide assistance to small businesses in certain commodity areas, including small scale specialty crop producers and processors, shellfish, aquaculture and other select producers, meat and other processors, distributors, farmers markets, seafood facilities, and processing vessels.
“The funding associated with USDA pandemic assistance is meant to serve as a bridge from disruptions associated with the pandemic to longer-term investments to help build back a better food system. Financial relief to these essential producers, distributors, processors, and other small agricultural businesses is a critical to get our food system back on track,” U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said.
USDA released grant forecasts for the new programs to help potential applicants determine their eligibility and to prepare to apply for funding. For the Seafood PRS grants, USDA will allocate block grant funding to U.S. states and territories based on a formula that considers economic activity as demonstrated through commercial fisheries landings.
Eligible entities are state agencies as detailed in the Seafood Processors Pandemic Response and Safety Block Grant Program forecast. The state agency will then provide funds to seafood processing facilities and processing vessels. Seafood processors and processing vessels should apply directly through their state agency, USDA said. A listing of state contacts will be made available on the USDA website. Tribal government-owned eligible entities may apply directly to USDA, and the details will be developed through tribal consultation in conjunction with Office of Tribal Relations.
Photo courtesy of II.studio/Shutterstock