Maine Farmland Trust and the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA) are introducing new Maine Farm Emergency Grants to assist farmers impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. A recent survey conducted by the Beginning Farmer Resource Network of Maine indicates farmers and food producers are experiencing significant market disruption. This collaborative effort will provide support to farmers who need assistance mitigating the economic impact of COVID-19, and will help them adapt their businesses to be responsive to changing markets.
Grants of up to $2,000 will assist farmers with a variety of unexpected costs or challenges, such as a loss in sales or outlets, delayed production or hiring due to market disruptions, additional costs related to acquiring supplies or personal protective equipment for safe product handling, or having a need to ramp up production with additional labor or supplies. Examples of efforts the grants may be used for include costs associated with implementing a new online ordering system, or the additional labor costs to pack personalized to-go bags and boxes.
The application deadline is April 27, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. Grants will be awarded during the week of May 4, 2020.
The organizations have jointly raised $100,000 from several foundations to fund the grants, including The Broad Reach Fund, The Elmina B. Sewall Foundation, Onion Foundation, and The New England Food System Resilience Fund, recently formed by The John Merck Fund, The Henry P. Kendall Foundation, and The 1772 Foundation. One hundred percent of the funds raised will go directly to grant awardees.
UPDATE: MFT and MOFGA are pleased to announce that 76 farms have received a total of $141,100 in Maine Farm Emergency Grants, an initiative the two organizations created to respond to the needs of farmers dealing with the impacts of COVID-19. At this time no new applications are being accepted.
MFT and MOFGA continue to support farms through their ongoing programs, which aim to boost the long term viability of Maine farms. You can support this work by making a gift to MFT.