Davis, Calif. — Given the pressing challenges facing California farmers as a result of Covid-19, Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CAFF) is launching a new fund to support those farmers most impacted by the virus and the resulting economic turmoil.
California farmers have seen significant disruptions of their operations as a result of changes in the marketplace, from restaurant and farmers market closures to changes in consumer online purchasing. Deemed “essential workers,” these farmers continue to plant, harvest and sell food on a regular basis.
“Family farmers play fundamental roles in California food systems, growing the food we eat, creating jobs and injecting money into our local economies. And they are often operating on razor-thin margins,” said Paul Towers, Executive Director of the Community Alliance with Family Farmers. “When these farmers struggle to thrive, it impacts us all. We need to help lift up family farmers in this moment, particularly the most vulnerable.”
The fund will focus on smaller operations, particularly on the Central Coast and in the Central Valley with 50% of the funds granted to farmers of color, immigrant and undocumented farmers.
“All too often state and federal resources have missed small growers of color. These growers have neither the historic wealth nor access to it; small investments can ensure the continued success of their small businesses,” said Blong Xiong, Executive Director of the Fresno Asian Business Institute and Resource Center that supports Southeast Asian growers in the San Joaquin Valley.
A diverse advisory committee is reviewing the applications on a rolling basis to get resources to the most vulnerable farmers and their families. The fund is housed at the Sacramento Region Community Foundation, and all grants, which range from $1,000 to $5,000, will be made through CAFF.
More information about the fund is available here: https://www.caff.org/cafamilyfarmeremergencyfund/
— Community Alliance with Family Farmers
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