Farmers Impacted by COVID-19 Urged to Apply for CARES Act Assistance

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Rob Portman has announced the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will begin accepting applications on May 26th for $16 billion in direct financial assistance provided under the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) to provide relief to farmers and producers impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. The Ohio Senator is urging farmers impacted by COVID-19 to apply for financial assistance.

The health crisis has caused farmers markets, restaurants, hotels, and other foodservice businesses to close, reducing demand for some food products nationwide. These food supply chain disruptions have led to an oversupply of food products on farms and declining prices, which has created a difficult situation for many of Ohio’s farmers through no fault of their own. This direct financial assistance program is designed to help ensure farmers can weather the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and provided funding through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which Portman supported.

Portman released the following statement, “I applaud Secretary Perdue in getting this program going to help Ohio’s famers and producers who have been impacted by decreased demand, declining prices, and supply chain disruptions due to the pandemic. This health crisis has underscored the important role farmers play in keeping Ohio, and America, healthy. The last few years have not been easy for the Ohio farming community—from severe weather events to the current pandemic. I’m thankful for their perseverance and the hard work they are doing to feed our nation during this challenging time. I urge Ohio’s farmers to prepare their application materials for when sign-ups begin on May 26th so they can receive immediate relief and continue their important work.”