SACRAMENTO, Calif. — While restaurants struggle to stay afloat amid the coronavirus pandemic, the region's small farms that provide fresh produce, meats and ingredients to create Sacramento's signature farm-to-fork masterpieces can easily be forgotten.
That's why, to combat recent financial hardship, the Downtown Sacramento Foundation has created Fork 2 Farm Relief Grants, available to central city restaurants and ag-related retailers/suppliers. These relief grants are "intended to meet an immediate need for urgent relief" and will "directly remit payment to nominated agricultural vendors/suppliers for due and overdue invoices."
In Sacramento, the America's farm-to-fork capital, many in the agriculture community are faced with the difficult decision of whether to cease operations.
"While these grants are a short-term solution to what will be a longer-term issue, they are an important first part of our regional efforts to alleviate the total economic cost of this pandemic and preserve America’s Farm-to-Fork Capital," Downtown Sacramento Foundation's press release said.
Qualified agricultural suppliers/vendors must be nominated by a central city restaurant or food-related retailer that they supply. Once an application is accepted, the Downtown Sacramento Foundation will distribute relief funds directly to the nominated vendor/supplier on the restaurant's behalf.
"This provides a win-win by lowering the debt burden of restaurants and food-related retailers while also ensuring local farms can continue what they do best – farm, grow, and provide for our farm-to-fork community," the Downtown Sacramento Foundation said.
Although 'central city restaurants' refers to a strict category of brick-and-mortar locales (West of Alhambra Boulevard, North of Broadway, South of Railyards Boulevard, and East of the Sacramento River), the specifications for agricultural vendors is more broad. These suppliers can be located within the six-county region of Sacramento, Yolo, Placer, Sutter, El Dorado, and Yuba. They must be small farms as defined by the USDA, selling $1,000 to $250,000 per year in agricultural products, or source products from these farms.
There is other criteria which is needed to be eligible, and which you can find here. Fork 2 Farm Relief Grants will be awarded as long as funds are available. Grants may be up to $2,500 per applicant or $5,000 (cumulative) per vendor/supplier.
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