Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf announced a Plan for Pennsylvania that will set citizens and businesses on a path to recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic while continuing to protect life from the dangers of this deadly virus.
The plan includes acknowledgement of Pennsylvania’s diverse agriculture industry, robust food processing sector, farmers markets, and the many industries that support a safe food supply. While the industry is life-sustaining, it has suffered a severe disruption in its supply chain, and recovery must ensure the certainty and future of Pennsylvania’s agriculture industry.
- Governor Wolf proposed full funding of $23.1 million for the historic PA Farm Bill in his FY 20-21 budget proposal, in addition to a $1 million increase to the PA Agriculture Surplus System (PASS) Program to improve food security while supporting PA agriculture. PA Farm Bill programs such as the Small Meat Processor grants, Urban Agriculture Infrastructure Grants and the Ag Business Development Center all help to increase processing infrastructure and strengthen local food systems, and provide tools to help producers bring more products to market and plan a path to recovery and resiliency.
- Establish a food processing reimbursement fund through the Department of Agriculture that would cover the costs borne by food processing facilities to invest in worker safety measures.
Fund and codify in statute the Pennsylvania Fresh Food Financing Initiative to provide grants and low-interest loans for the construction, rehabilitation, or expansion of grocery stores, farmers markets, and other healthy food retail establishments in low- to moderate-income areas in need and other undeserved communities.