Sun River Health sees more than 10,000 Agricultural Workers and their families each year. For many of these families, just like for most Americans, the pandemic brought with it loss of work and additional financial hardship.
14 organizations and one tribal entity are now working with the U.S. Department of Agriculture to distribute one-time $600 relief payments through the Farm and Food Workers Relief Program. Beginning March 1, 2023, frontline agricultural and meatpacking workers who incurred expenses preparing for, preventing exposure to, and responding to the COVID-19 pandemic were able to apply for this relief payment. This program cover workers in 14 states: Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and West Virginia.
Sun River Health has been welcoming agricultural workers from the communities we serve to assist them and their families with registering for the stimulus funding – which is free of charge and open to anybody who can provide photo identification and proof of employment as an agricultural worker during the pandemic. Additionally, staff from Sun River Health have been in communication with our partnering farms, orchards, and vineyards to ensure all workers in their employ are aware of the opportunity and can register for the payment.
- Relief payments will remain available until funds are exhausted
- There is no cost to apply
- Relief payments are not a loan and payment recipients will not be taxed
- Immigration status is not one of the eligibility criteria
- Applicant information is confidential. It will not be shared with the USDA nor any other state or federal agency
- Only one relief payment can be issued to an eligible beneficiary. Applying for a relief payment through more than one location or organization will result in significant payment delays