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Sonny Perdue. Photo by USDA.

USDA Coronavirus Food Assistance Program

By Chris Zoller, Ohio State University Extension Educator, ANR, Tuscarawas County and Mike Estadt, Extension Educator, ANR, Pickaway County

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) is part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, and other USDA authorities to provide $16 billion in support to farmers impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. The program is available to all farmers, regardless of size, who suffered an eligible loss. Included in the program is $3 billion that will go toward purchases of commodities for distribution by food banks and faith-based programs through the Farmers to Families Food Box Program. USDA announced $1.2 billion in contracts for that program.

CFAP will provide direct support based on actual losses where markets & supply chains have been impacted.  The program is also designed to assist farmers with additional adjustment and marketing costs from lost demand and short-term oversupply for the 2020 marketing year caused by COVID-19.

Although sign-up has not started, there are a few things you can do now to be ready, including:

Gathering documentation of recent sales and inventories

  • Having your Tax Identification Number (TIN)
  • Determining your operating structure (sole proprietor, LLC, etc.)
  • A record of your Adjusted Gross Income (AGI)

An additional article on CFAP can be accessed at: https://u.osu.edu/ohioagmanager/2020/04/21/usda-announces-coronavirus-food-assistance-program-cfap/

Your local Farm Service Agency office will be handling the application process and all interested farmers are encouraged to call to schedule an appointment and have questions answered.  Additional CFAP information is available at https://www.farmers.gov/cfap.

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