One of region’s greatest assets is our wealth of local farms and food businesses and the resilience of our food system. COVID-19 has caused this system to be challenged in ways we could not have imagined even one month ago. Our farmers are hurting right now as markets, restaurants and other income-generating avenues are closed due to the virus. Farms often rely on direct to consumer sales through farmers markets and CSAs to make a living, all of which are likely to be closed through at least part of the summer season. Despite these challenges, many farmers are reaching out to contribute healthy food to the neediest among us.
BAV is pleased to have received a generous grant from a local family foundation to launch the Resilience Fund for Farmers. This new Fund will support farmers who are experiencing business challenges as a result of COVID-19. Zero interest, forgivable loans and grants will be provided to farmers to help them adapt to the new realities of COVID-19, overcome significant income challenges, ensure their farms are viable and sustainable, and that they can continue to meet demand among consumers for healthy local foods. In addition to working with individual farmers, BAV is also hoping to support strategies that avoid costly duplication of effort among farmers, such as coordinated delivery services.
The challenges facing our farmers are real and we need your help.