MADISON — Gov. Tony Evers announced May 20 the Wisconsin Farm Support Program, a $50-million investment to provide direct payments to Wisconsin farmers in support of the agricultural sector during the COVID-19 pandemic, and a $15-million Food Security Initiative to combat hunger in Wisconsin.
Federal aid so far has attempted to support agriculture nationwide, but Wisconsin farmers have been left out.
Eligible farmers will be asked to apply for the aid through the Wisconsin Department of Revenue, which is working in collaboration with the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection. Farm support payments could begin arriving as early as June.
To complement the Wisconsin Farm Support Program and combat food insecurity, the governor has also committed $15 million to the Food Security Initiative. A portion of the funding will go toward helping food banks, pantries and other nonprofit organizations fighting food insecurity adapt to challenges posed by the COVID-19 public health crisis. The initiative will emphasize the importance of prioritizing the use of Wisconsin products wherever possible in feeding citizens. Applicants are strongly encouraged to partner with local food experts
Additionally, the Food Security Initiative will help food banks, pantries, and other nonprofit organizations purchase, process, and/or store Wisconsin agricultural products for distribution to local consumers in need. These grants will bolster Wisconsin’s food supply chain.
This section of the Food Security Initiative will help ensure that the funding provided in the federal CARES Act goes to help Wisconsin organizations distribute Wisconsin food products to Wisconsin consumers.
Successful applicants are encouraged to partner with organizations that work directly with Wisconsin’s agricultural producers and food processors to maximize the use of Wisconsin products.