Agency awarded $56.9 million USDA grant

The United States Dept of Agriculture (USDA) has awarded fifteen non-profits over $600 million to assist farmworkers, meat packers and grocery workers nationwide with direct Covid-19 related relief payments. United Migrant Opportunity Services (UMOS), headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, will receive $56,886,475 to implement the program in thirteen states.

“ We applaud USDA for appropriating direct relief payments for eligible farmworkers, meatpackers, and grocery workers to help defray costs associated with previous or on-going purchases of personal protective equipment and other expenses incurred during the Covid-19 pandemic such as testing, quarantining, vaccinations, childcare costs and other reasonable and necessary personal, family and or living expenses,” says Lupe Martinez, president and Chief Executive Officer, UMOS. Farmworkers, meatpackers, and grocery workers were classified by the federal government as “essential workers” during the height of the pandemic.

UMOS plans to partner with non-profit organizations in nine of the thirteen states. UMOS and its partners will outreach to agriculture and meatpacking workers and their employers, accept and process applications, collect verification, determine eligibility, and issue payments while maintaining strong financial controls which ensure funds get into the hands of eligible beneficiaries. A one-time direct payment of $600 will be made to over 75,000 eligible applicants within a two-year period.

UMOS will partner with the following agencies:

Florida———Coalition of Florida Farmworker Organizations (COFFO)
Arkansas——-Arkansas Human Development Corporation (AHDC)
Colorado——-Rocky Mountain SER
Kansas——— Harvest America
Illinois——— Illinois Migrant Council
Missouri——–Legal Aid of Western Missouri

UMOS will deliver services directly in Oklahoma, Minnesota, Texas, and Wisconsin..

“We are especially happy to see farmworkers recognized for their contributions to the nation’s workforce and the food supply chain. Oftentimes they are overlooked in federal agricultural relief efforts,” Martinez concluded.

For more information call 1-414-389-6000.

UMOS is a non-profit, advocacy organization that provides programs and services which improves the employment, educational, health and housing opportunities for under-served populations.



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