The people who produce our food are facing a crisis unlike any they have ever seen, encountering new threats sparked by COVID-19 while they endure a multi-year slump in prices for their goods, volatile trade disputes, frequent natural disasters, and climate disruption.
Unfortunately, the COVID-19 stimulus bills passed in Congress do not go nearly far enough to ensure that all farmers, ranchers, and fishermen are supported, particularly small and mid-sized operations, limited resource producers, farms operated by farmers of color, and tribal nations who are often left out of federal farm policy. A stimulus package response to COVID-19 must:
- Ensure a fair and safe livelihood for all farmers, ranchers, fishermen and all farm, fish, and food workers;
- Bolster local & regional food systems poised to feed communities;
- Center the farmers, ranchers, fishers, and food workers of color who are most impacted by systemic inequities of our food system;
- Enact systemic reform to build resilience for all producers, workers, and eaters; and
- Ensure every person living in the United States has a dignified means of accessing nutritious food
The 21+ million members of our food system are ready to continue growing, raising, catching, processing, and delivering the healthy food we need. They are all essential workers. Without them, none of us will eat.