USDA Announces New Items Eligible for COVID-19 Assistance

The United States Department of Agriculture announced on Thursday in a press release that they are adding more commodities to the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP). The program was developed to help businesses producing items which have suffered a loss in profit during the COVID-19 pandemic. The press release stated that adjustments have been made to the program after feedback from producers and data review.

“When we announced this program earlier this year, we asked for public input and received a good response. After reviewing the comments received and analyzing our USDA Market News data, we are adding new commodities, as well as making updates to the program for existing eligible commodities. This is an example of government working for the people – we asked for input and we updated the program based on the comments we received,” said Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue.

Various organizations have reached out to the USDA and demonstrated that the average loss of profit far exceeded the requirements for consideration, but their products were not listed as eligible in the initial CFAP program. Some of these items were hemp products, apples, and liquid eggs.  Aid for apples was expanded in this addition to the CFAP, initially they were eligible only for marketing adjustments, but liquid eggs and hemp were not mentioned. The press release also announces changes in payment rates for some products and that peach and rhubarb producers no longer qualify for aid.

Items which were added to the CFAP include alfalfa sprouts, anise, arugula, basil, bean sprouts, beets, blackberries, Brussels sprouts, celeriac (celery root), chives, cilantro, coconuts, collard greens, dandelion greens, greens (others not listed separately), guava, kale greens, lettuce – including Boston, green leaf, Lolla Rossa, oak leaf green, oak leaf red and red leaf – marjoram, mint, mustard, okra, oregano, parsnips, passion fruit, peas (green), pineapple, pistachios, radicchio, rosemary, sage, savory, sorrel, fresh sugarcane, Swiss chard, thyme, and turnip top greens.

Producers of commodities that have been added to the list of eligible items can submit applications for assistance between July 13 and August 28.