The impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic have been unrelenting, exposing and exacerbating the dangers of our corporate-run food system:
- Now several years into a bad farm economy, thousands of farms are at risk of going under this year;
- Food workers are forced to put their lives at risk in unsafe work conditions with nearly 50,000 sickened in COVID-19 outbreaks across the country, while there is no accountability for their corporate bosses; and
- Millions of families are food insecure as they struggle to navigate unemployment and tough economic conditions.
Federal relief has fallen woefully short of meeting these challenges. The U.S. Department of Agriculture is mismanaging billions of dollars. Many farmers and ranchers, especially small and mid-sized farmers, young farmers, farmers of color have been shut out from relief programs. Local and regional food systems that support our communities — rather than impoverish them — need proactive investment. Corporations are sucking federal funds dry, while farmers, workers, and families are left hanging. Unfortunately, the HEALS Act, introduced by Senator Mitch McConnell, will continue to benefit corporations at the expense of everyone else.
We need bold action, now.
We cannot afford to lose a single farm to this pandemic and only have a short window to win critical aid for farmers and food systems. We need the Senate to support farmers, workers, healthy food access and a resilient food system in the next COVID relief package. Your Senators need to hear from you today.