After Advocacy from Maloney, USDA Expands Coronavirus Food Assistance Program for Hudson Valley Apple Growers
Following a bipartisan call for action, Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-18) announced the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) will now expand the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) for Hudson Valley’s apple growers. This critical pandemic response program for agricultural producers was established through funds allocated in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which Rep. Maloney helped pass in March.
“Not only do Hudson Valley’s apple growers produce the best apples in America – they also bring jobs to our communities and support local tourism. They need more help during this pandemic – just like all of our farmers and producers,” said Rep Sean Patrick Maloney. “I’m encouraged that my call for action was heard by the USDA, and urge all of our apple growers in the Hudson Valley to take advantage of this valuable direct payment program.”
Apple growers were initially only eligible for CFAP if crops were spoiled, unpaid for or left unharvested because of the pandemic. In order to be eligible based on price decline, commodity growers must prove a 5-percent-or-greater price decline during the months of January through April. Despite a product price decline during the peak of the pandemic ranging from 6.5% to 24.9%, the USDA had determined that apples did not meet the criteria. Apple growers can apply for CFAP assistance starting today, July 13, 2020.
The CARES Act provided $9.5 billion in emergency funding for agriculture producers impacted by the coronavirus, including producers of specialty crops, producers that supply local food systems, and livestock producers. Applications for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) will close August 28, 2020. Eligible farmers will receive a one-time CFAP payment of up to $250,000 per person or entity.
Farmers and producers should apply for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) through their local Farm Service Agency (FSA) office. More information and loan application paperwork can be found by visiting www.farmers.gov/CFAP. Farmers can also reach out to Rep. Maloney’s office for more information about the program by calling his Newburgh office: 845-561-1259.