Farm & Food Workers Relief Program

Farm workers across the U.S. can now apply for the $600 COVID-19 pandemic relief payments through UFW Foundation 

The UFW Foundation has worked tirelessly to advance legislation empowering USDA to support farm workers throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. The USDA Farm and Food Workers Relief Program provide much-needed relief to farm workers affected by the pandemic. Farm workers by in large, do not receive paid sick leave but were classified as “essential workers” during the pandemic, exposing many to the virus at their workplace. Many employers did not provide Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), social distancing, and in later days, vaccinations to prevent the spread of the virus, causing farm workers to take time off to quarantine, losing out on several days' pay. Additionally, the COVID-19 Congress relief packages failed to provide pandemic assistance to millions of undocumented persons, many of whom pay taxes through Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers. Additionally, unlike other workers, at the federal level, farm workers do not qualify for overtime pay, typically receive low wages, and experience poor working conditions. The USDA FFWR Program provides a one-time relief payment to help farm workers and their families recover from these lost wages. 

Beginning January 9, 2023, applications for the Farm and Food Worker Relief (FFWR) Grant Program will open through the UFW Foundation. UFW Foundation will be distributing a one-time $600 relief payment to farm workers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic who qualify. There is no cost to apply for the program. This is a two-year program and consists of a one-time payment. You can only apply once; additional applications will be denied. 

The UFW Foundation will have nine sub-recipient organizations providing workers with critical outreach and application support. They are CIERTO, Michigan Immigrant Rights Center, Farmworker Legal Services, Bienestar Oregon, Pineros y Campesinos Unidos del Noroeste (PCUN), United Farm Workers (UFW), Farmworker Association of Florida, North Carolina Focus on Increasing Education Leadership and Dignity (NC FIELD), Centro De Servicios Para Campesinos. Potential applicants are reminded not to provide personal documents or identification to unapproved organizations.    

Who Qualifies 

Relief payments will be available to eligible frontline agriculture workers who:

  • Worked during the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S. or their territories from January 27, 2020, until the pandemic has been declared over.
  • There is no age requirement.  
  • Workers will have to self-certify while applying that they incurred expenses due to the pandemic, such as: 
    • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as masks, hand sanitizers, face shields or goggles, gloves, and/or childcare
    • COVID tests
  • Applicants must self-certify they have not received this relief from another grantee.  
  • UFW Foundation will assist workers from all 50 states and U.S. territories: American Samoa, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and Guam. 

Eligibility Documentation 

Applicants will need to provide proof of identification and proof of employment: 

  • Examples of acceptable identification documents: 
    • State Identification or Driver’s License 
    • Consular or Government Issued Identification (Foreign or Domestic) 
    • UFW Foundation ID 
    • Employer Issued ID 
    • OR two forms of identification with the individual’s name (if a person lacks an ID with a photo) 
      • Examples: Vehicle Registration Cards, insurance cards, and phone bills. 
  • Examples of employment documentation: 
    • Paystubs 
    • W-2 Tax Form 
    • Employer letter/contract 
    • Photographic evidence (at the worksite)
    • Written attestation (Handwritten required; no notarization needed). 

How to Apply 

  • Call the UFW Foundation Call Center Hotline at (877) 881-8281. 
    • Service providers speak English, Spanish, and other Indigenous languages, such as Mixteco. 
    • UFW Foundation will also have a Language Line available to provide translation to folks in other languages if needed. 
  • Beginning January 9, UFW Foundation Call Center hours of operation will be: 
    • Monday – Thursday: 9 am - 7 pm PST 
    • Fridays & Sundays: 9 am - 5 pm PST 
  • The call center service providers will ask questions to determine eligibility and complete your application.  
  • While on the phone with a UFW Foundation service provider, you will receive a link via text message or email to upload your documents directly to the UFW Foundation platform, Alivio.   

After Applying 

  • Once you complete your application and submit your required documents, a UFW Foundation team member will review your application and the documents you provided. 
  • If your application is approved, you will be contacted and notified of your approval. 
  • You will be contacted via your preferred communication method (SMS or email). 
  • Your information will be processed, and a one-time prepaid card for $600 will be shipped to you within 10-15 business days following the approval of your application. 
    • Note: 10-15 days may differ for those recipients we will serve in Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, and American Samoa territories. 
  • Once you receive your card, you can activate it via phone or online. Please review the activation instructions attached to your prepaid card.