Update on the Northeast BIPOC Farmer Relief Fund
This summer, a coalition of food and farm groups across the Northeast worked together to provide financial assistance to Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) farmers and fisherfolk who were impacted by COVID-19. The Northeast BIPOC Farmer Relief Fund, funded by Farm Aid, provided grants of $500 each to a total of 223 producers. Priority was given to producers using sustainable, regenerative or environmentally sound practices who demonstrate a connectedness to their community. Because the USDA's definition of farmer excludes many BIPOC folks, the coalition decided to define "farmer" more broadly, to ensure that applicants need not own farmland or a farm business or generate a profit, so long as they are growing or raising food in some capacity for their communities, in order to qualify.
This effort was a collaborative initiative of several Northeast and national farm and food systems organizations, including Black Farmer Fund, Black Urban Growers and Farmers of Pittsburgh Cooperative (BUGFPC), Farm Fresh Rhode Island, Just Food, Land For Good, Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA), National Young Farmers Coalition, Northeast Farmers of Color Land Trust (NEFOC), Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Working Group (NESAWG), Northeast Organic Farming Association of New Jersey (NOFA-NJ), Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York (NOFA-NY), Pasa Sustainable Agriculture, Rural Vermont, The Carrot Project, and Urban Tree Connection. Thank you to everyone who spread the word about this funding.