Update on Oregon’s Food Security and Farmworker Safety Program
Thank you for your interest in the FSFS Program. This program was launched in June to assist farmers and ranchers to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 at the workplace and in employer provided housing and transportation. This is a reminder email to apply or complete your application to receive assistance. Attached is a graphic for you to share on social media and with others to help protect agriculture around the state.
Apply or Complete Application Today
To date, the FSFS Program has provided assistance to over 125 Oregon farmers to help offset the additional cost of protecting essential agricultural workers from COVID-19 exposure and illness. Applications will be accepted through October 25th and receipts must be in by November 16th. Apply today.
Since the launch two months ago, the FSFS Program has adapted to meet the developing understanding of COVID-19. These changes to the program include:
Face Covering Reimbursements
The FSFS Program has added an initial reimbursement of up to $350 for face coverings provided to employees. Face coverings have become a critical tool to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and an unplanned expense. You do not need to reapply to be reimbursed for face coverings. Simply include face coverings in your payment request under ‘Sanitation’ and submit receipts. As noted below, if funding remains at the end of the program in November, additional funding will be distributed to producers who have submitted face covering receipts in excess of $350.
The FSFS Program is now allowing for vehicle rental and contracted transportation services as eligible expenses in the Transportation Assistance category. As noted below, the reimbursement limitation in the transportation category remains at $1,000. However, if funding remains at the end of the program in November, additional funding will be distributed to producers who have submitted receipts in excess of $1,000.
Initial Reimbursements, Not Caps
The FSFS Program established initial reimbursement limitations to safeguard funds for Oregon’s late variety crops. These initial reimbursement limitations ($20,000 for housing and field sanitation, $1,000 for transportation, $350 for face coverings) are not caps, and applicants should submit receipts for all eligible costs. At the end of the program in November, any remaining funds will be distributed to producers with additional eligible invoices and receipts.
Resources for Farmers and Farmworkers
Free Risk Assessments – ODA, OSHA Consultation, and OHA are conducting no-cost COVID-19 risk assessments for farms and ranches. The risk assessment documents the mitigation measures you have in practice and provides feedback on additional steps which could be taken. There is no enforcement or inspection elements to the assessment. The on-site or virtual assessment provides educational and technical support to help protect you and your employees.
Schedule today by emailing FSDemail@example.com or 503-986-4720
Free testing, information, and face masks – Harvest is a busy time and to simplify preparation and response to COVID-19, the Oregon Health Authority has contracted with community health partners across the state to provide farmworkers with critical information about COVID-19 in different languages, face coverings, and free COVID-19 tests.
Click here to find a local community health partner in your area visit.
Thank you for all your work! For additional questions please contact the FSFS Program at firstname.lastname@example.org.