NORTH CAROLINA (WNCT) Our state’s farmers market operators and local food hubs are now able to apply for help through the covid-19 emergency aid program.
The state is making $750,000 available, using federal pandemic relief money set aside for North Carolina operators. Agriculture experts tell 9 On Your Side a lot of these market operators and food hubs are right here in the east.
Before the pandemic state leaders say they saw a big increase in demand for fresh local products especially from farmers’ markets. But state and local COVID-19 restrictions are having an impact on the food supply chain, hurting local markets and food hubs. This money will help those operators cover some losses and cover expenses for things like masks and gloves, hand sanitizer, and handwashing stations.
“When all this is said and done and we get back to normal that these markets are still there. To provide some financial resources to ensure that consumers will still have access to farm-fresh products 2, 3, 4 years from now down the road is extremely important to North Carolina agriculture,” said Beth Farrell, NC Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services
officials say local food hubs lost a lot of their sales when the pandemic closed schools and restaurants.
North Carolina has more than 250 farmers markets, plus at least 160 roadside stands and 20 USDA registered food hubs. There are likely more providers who are not listed.
For more information Click HERE.
To access the application and to learn how to apply click HERE.
The application deadline is Thursday October 22, 2020.