SACRAMENTO — The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) today announced that the counties of Kern and Madera will participate in Housing for the Harvest, a program announced by Governor Gavin Newsom in July to provide temporary hotel housing options for farm and food processing employees to self-isolate if they are COVID-19 positive and do not require hospitalization, or have been exposed and cannot properly self-isolate at home. Eight counties are now participating in Housing for the Harvest: Kern, Madera, Kings, Riverside, Tulare, Santa Barbara, Fresno and San Joaquin.
The state is securing hotel rooms in participating counties, with local governments identifying administrators to manage the program and local community organizations to provide additional services, like meals, wellness checks and in-language assistance. Local administrators will serve as a point of contact for eligible workers. Local administrators of the program can include a county or city agency, a Native American tribe, a non-profit organization, or a philanthropic organization.
“Kern and Madera join counties across the state committed to providing a safe, temporary housing solution to protect agricultural workers who need to isolate,” said CDFA secretary Karen Ross. “We must protect these essential workers, their families and their local communities.”
Housing for the Harvest will ultimately be made available statewide and provide opt-in housing support for any counties or regions that are interested. California has received FEMA approval for this program during the COVID-19 pandemic and will seek federal reimbursement for 75 percent of hotel costs.
Kern County has partnered with the Community Action Partnership of Kern (CAPK) to administer Housing for the Harvest. In addition to hotel quarantine support such as transportation, meals, and wellness checks, Kern County has allocated resources for financial assistance and additional support for family at home.
“Community Action Partnership of Kern is excited to be a part of Housing for the Harvest program. This effort will help the essential workers who harvest the food we eat protect their families and co-workers from COVID-19 at the same time it provides financial support to local hotels and restaurants,” said CAPK Chief Executive Officer Jeremy Tobias. “Housing for the Harvest will let us assist workers as they isolate during a COVID-19 illness. We will support them with food and services. Ultimately this helps Kern County beat COVID-19 and move more quickly toward reopening.”
Farmworkers and food processing workers in Kern County who are in need of these services are urged to call 211. Please note that personal information gathered through this process will be kept confidential.
Madera County is joining with the Central Valley Opportunity Center (CVOC) in Housing for the Harvest. The CVOC will provide transportation, meals and wellness checks.
“Madera County is excited to launch Housing for the Harvest to protect our essential ag workforce and economy by keeping the workforce healthy and on the job,” said Sara Bosse, Madera County Public Health Director
“COVID-19 has opened the eyes of the world to the fact that farmworkers are essential to keeping our food supply chain moving, Ag economies growing, and fresh food on the tables of all,” said CVOC executive director Jorge De Nava Jr. “During these challenging times, the Central Valley Opportunity Center is honored to be entrusted with administering the Housing for the Harvest program and we look forward to working with the State, local government, and our community partners in Madera County. “
Farmworkers and food processing workers in Madera County who are in need of these services are urged to visit www.thehealthyharvest.org or www.cosechasana.org or call 559-710-2000. Please note that personal information gathered through this process will be kept confidential.
If a county or community organization is interested in becoming a regional administrator, they may email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on Housing for the Harvest, please visit our website.
–California Department of Food and Agriculture
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