Gov. Tom Wolf announced today the availability of $40 million in funding
through the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security
(CARES) Act to support Pennsylvania’s dairy industry and food security
programs, following months of uncertainty and loss from the COVID-19
“I’m extremely proud of our agricultural industry, which was hit with
the most drastic market changes, yet they continued to show up for their
communities,” said Department of Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding.
“The industry understands that hunger should not be our next pandemic
and took action. I’m grateful that the governor is ensuring that our
farmers, and in particular our dairy farmers, receive much needed
Specifically, $15 million will provide an opportunity for dairy farmers
to receive direct relief payments and $5 million will reimburse dairy
farmers who participate in the Pennsylvania Agricultural Surplus System
(PASS) program by donating excess dairy product to the commonwealth’s
charitable food system.
Any dairy farm that experienced financial losses due to discarded or
displaced milk during the COVID-19 emergency disaster may apply for
assistance. Each farm with a documented loss will receive a minimum of
$1,500 and an additional prorated share of the remaining funds, not to
exceed the actual amount assessed by the handler. The deadline to apply
for the Dairy Indemnity Program is Sept. 30.
Also, $15 million will go to the State Food Purchase Program, which
provides cash grants to counties for the purchase and distribution of
food to low income individuals, and $5 million will go to the PASS
program to reimburse the agricultural industry for the costs involved in
harvesting, processing, packaging and transporting food that they
donate to the charitable food system. The PASS program helps to support
Pennsylvania’s agriculture industry in all 67 counties and reduce waste
of agricultural surplus by making connections between production
agriculture and the nonprofit sector.
For information as it relates to agriculture during COVID-19 mitigation in Pennsylvania visit agriculture.pa.gov/COVID