Funder: US Department of Agriculture (USDA)
Status: The application opening date is tentatively set for early October 2021.
This is a program designed to help small specialty crop producers, food processors, manufacturers, distributors, and farmers markets recover costs incurred by responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, including measures to protect workers. There will be approximately $650 million available through this grant.
Through the first round of funding, the USDA is prioritizing small businesses and farmers’ markets. Based on available funding, the USDA may expand eligibility in future rounds of funding to include mid-sized businesses.
Funding is provided by the Pandemic Assistance provided in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021.
September 9, 2021 – USDA announces Pandemic Response and Safety Grant Program
October 6, 2021 – USDA opens applications Pandemic Response and Safety Grant Program.
November 22, 2021, at 11:59 pm EST – USDA closes application period for Pandemic Response and Safety Grant Program.
At this time, the Pandemic Response and Safety (PRS) Grant Program will only be accepting applications from eligible small businesses and nonprofits.
Applicants must also be small producers, food processors/distributors, or farmers’ market organizers. Producers, processors, and distributors are subject to additional requirements. These requirements are on the USDA’s Check Your Eligibility for PRS Funding page.
Crop Production: This group includes is not limited to the farming of dry peas & beans, potatoes, vegetables (except for potatoes) & melons, oranges, citrus (except for oranges) groves, apple orchards, grape vineyards, strawberries, berries (except for strawberries), tree nuts, fruits & tree nuts, noncitrus fruits, mushrooms, other food crops grown under cover, and nursery plants and trees*. Applicants will be subject to size standards on their average annual receipts/revenue.
*Fruit stock growing is the only eligible component for this group.
Animal Production and Aquaculture: This group includes finfish farming & fish hatcheries, shellfish farming, other aquaculture, and apiculture (beekeeping). Applicants will be subject to size standards on their average annual receipts/revenue.
Post-Harvest Crop Activities (except cotton ginning): Facilities in this group have to be providing postharvest activities such as crop cleaning, sun drying, shelling, fumigating, curing, sorting, grading, packing, and cooling. Applicants will be subject to size standards on their average annual receipts/revenue.
Food Manufacturing: Facilities have to be manufacturing or processing frozen/canned fruits & vegetables, frozen/canned specialty foods, dried or dehydrated foods, meat & poultry, roasted nuts, coffee & tea, perishable prepared foods, and all other miscellaneous foods. Applicants will be subjected to size standards on their average number of full-time or part-time employees over the last 12 months.
Merchant Wholesalers of Nondurable Goods: Wholesalers have to be distributing packaged frozen foods, poultry & poultry products, fish & seafood products, meat & meat products, fresh fruits & vegetables, and other grocery & related products.** Applicants will be subjected to size standards on their average number of full-time or part-time employees over the last 12 months.
**Food hubs are eligible under this group and will be asked to select the option that best describes what items their operation works with.
Warehousing and Storage: Facilities in this group have to be providing services such as blast freezing, tempering, or modified atmosphere storage services. Applicants will be subject to size standards on their average annual receipts/revenue.
The Pandemic Response and Safety (PRS) Grant Program will have approximately $650 million available. Applicants can request for amounts between $1,500 to $20,000.
Funding can be used for the following activities:
Workplace Safety: Implementing workplace safety measures to protect workers against COVID-19
-Provide personal protective equipment, thermometers, cleaning supplies, sanitizer, or handwashing stations
-Installation and purchase of air filters or new signage
Market Pivots: Implementing market pivots to protect workers against COVID–19
-Develop and implement online platforms
-Utilize online or print materials to communicate market pivots
Retrofitting Facilities: Retrofitting Facilities for Worker and Consumer Safety to protect against COVID–19
-Installation and purchase of protective barriers made of plexiglass or plastic sheeting, walk-up windows, heat lamps/heaters, fans, tents, propane, weights, tables, chairs, and lighting
Transportation: Providing additional transportation options to maintain social distancing and worker and consumer safety to protect against COVID-19
-Secure additional transportation services for workers
-Offer new delivery routes or distribution services
Worker Housing: Providing worker housing that protects workers against COVID-19
-Secure additional housing resources/services to maintain social distancing or to allow for quarantining of new or exposed employees
Medical: Providing health services to protect workers against COVID-19
-Offer or enable vaccinations, testing, or healthcare treatment of infected employees, including any paid leave due to COVID-19 infection