U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Vilsack announced Tuesday that $700 million in competitive grant funding will be available to help farmworkers and meatpacking workers with pandemic-related health and safety costs.

The funds will be made available through the Farm and Food Workers Relief (FFWR) grant program, a news release said.

Included in the $700 million grant will be $20 million that will be set aside for front-line grocery workers and a pilot program that aims to support them.

“As we celebrate the social and economic achievements of our nation’s workers on Labor Day, we recognize that our farmworkers, meat packing workers, and grocery workers overcame unprecedented challenges and took on significant personal risk to ensure Americans could feed and sustain their families throughout the pandemic,” said Vilsack in the release. “They deserve recognition for their resilience and financial support for their efforts to meet personal and family needs while continuing to provide essential services. This grant program is another component of this Administration’s efforts to ensure assistance to alleviate the effects of the pandemic is distributed to those who need it most.”

According to the release, these grant funds will be awarded to state agencies, tribal entities, and nonprofit organizations serving farmworkers and meatpacking workers. The individual grants will range from $5 million to $50 million.

Applications must be submitted electronically through www.grants.gov.

For more information, visit www.usda.gov.

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