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Relief funding on its way to help King County farms, farmers markets overcome COVID-19 losses

Summary

Help is on the way for King County farmers and farmers markets to overcome losses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and to comply with public health and safety operating requirements to prevent the spread of the virus. Relief funding under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act will also ensure continued access to fresh, local farm products by income-challenged residents of King County.

Story

Nearly $1.4 million in federal funding will help King County farmers and farmers markets overcome financial losses due to COVID-19, as well as comply with public health and safety operating requirements to prevent the spread of the virus. 

The source of the relief funding is the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and is allocated by the King County Council.  It is intended to help reimburse King County farm businesses for the unanticipated costs of implementing new safety protocols in response to COVID-19, which have added operating costs at a time when cash-flow is most constrained. 

In addition to supporting farm businesses and farmers markets, the $1,380,000 in relief funding under the CARES Act will ensure continued access to fresh, local farm products by income-challenged residents of King County. 

Included are grant programs for King County farmers markets impacted by COVID-19, funding to boost local farm product purchases by King County food banks and senior meal providers, and a technical assistance program for farm businesses to launch eCommerce marketing platforms.

Relief funding is allocated into five programmatic areas, including farm businesses, farmers markets, food banks, senior meal providers, and farm business technical assistance. Translated information is available for non-English speakers, and relief funding information for farm businesses is provided in English, Spanish, and Hmong.

Interested farmers and farm organizations can learn details about all of the funding opportunities, read the eligibility requirements and apply for reimbursement of COVID-19 related expenses at https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/WAKING/bulletins/29ca218. For additional information, contact Richard Martin at richard.martin@kingcounty.gov or call 206-477-3876.

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About King County Water and Land Resources Division
The King County Water and Land Resources Division (WLRD) safeguards King County’s water and land resources by providing services that protect public health and safety and yield significant environmental benefits. The Agriculture Program is a WLRD program that brings together the County’s efforts to preserve prime agricultural soils with efforts to protect water resources and ensure the continuing economic vitality of agriculture in the County.

About Farm King County

Farm King County – Farm King County is multi-stakeholder collaboration between organizations committed to expanding the local agricultural economy by connecting local farmers to services, information, and technical resources that make it easier to farm and grow farm businesses in King County. The foundation of this effort is this comprehensive web-based directory of farming resources that contains information relevant to starting, operating and growing a successful farm enterprise. Supporting the web-based directory is a network of technical experts that are available to answer questions, assist in navigating the directory, and connect users to organizations and service providers that can provide additional support. This project supports the goals of King County’s Local Food Initiative, which serves as a roadmap for strengthening the local food system and increasing access to healthy, affordable food. 

RELEVANT LINKS

King County DNRP Blog
Local Food Initiative Newsletter
Farm King County
King County WLRD
King County Agricultural Program

For press inquiries contact Logan Harris, King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks, 206-477-4516