Frontline Farm and Food Workers Eligible for Relief Payments

by Pat Haley

DOVER, Del. (April 20, 2023) — The Delaware Department of Agriculture has partnered with Pasa Sustainable Agriculture to assist frontline farm and meatpacking workers who live or work in Delaware in receiving a one-time $600 relief payment through the Farm and Food Workers Relief Program (FFWR).

Frontline farm and meatpacking workers, who incurred expenses preparing for, preventing exposure to, and responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, can apply for a one-time, non-taxed $600 relief payment at Relief payments will remain available until funds are exhausted. Eligible beneficiaries who live or work in Delaware are encouraged to apply early. These payments are not loans, and payment recipients will not be taxed. Only one relief payment can be issued to an eligible beneficiary.

Since farm owners and operators were eligible for COVID-19 relief through other USDA programs, they do not qualify for the FFWR Program unless they have proof of employment as frontline farm or meatpacking workers on farms they do not also own or operate.

Applicants must provide (1) photo identification and (2) acceptable proof of employment as a farm or meatpacking worker within the U.S. and its territories between January 27, 2020, and the end of the incident period for the major disaster declaration related to COVID-19. Immigration status is not one of the eligibility criteria. Youth under 18 are eligible for a relief payment and must provide the same documentation as described above. More eligibility information and required documentation are available at

Hired workers are those other than agricultural service workers paid for at least one hour of agricultural work on a farm or in a meat processing facility. Worker type is determined by what the employee was hired primarily to do, not necessarily what was done during the pandemic. Eligible applicants should be frontline workers and not those working in management positions.

Worker occupations that qualify as eligible beneficiaries are broken down into three main categories, along with associated titles, include:

Field workers: Includes planting, tending, and harvesting crops, as well as eligible post-harvest activities. It also includes operating farm machinery on crop farms. A list of qualifying crops for field activities is available on the website.

• Graders and Sorters, Agricultural Products; Agricultural Equipment Operators; Farmworkers and Laborers, Crop, Nursery, and Greenhouse; Agricultural Workers, All Other; and Packers and Packagers, Hand

Livestock workers: Includes tending livestock, milking cows, or caring for poultry. It also includes operating farm machinery on livestock or poultry operations.

• Graders and Sorters, Agricultural Products; Farmworkers, Farm, Ranch, and Aquacultural Animals; Agricultural Workers, All Other; and Packers and Packagers, Hand

Meatpacking workers: Includes animal slaughtering, meat or poultry processing, and packaging meat or poultry.

• Slaughterers and Meat Packers; Meat, Poultry, and Fish Cutters and Trimmers; and Food Processing Workers, All Others

Eligible beneficiaries are encouraged to protect themselves from scams and fraud. You do not need to notarize documents to apply for the USDA FFWR Program. There is no cost to apply for the relief payment; application assistance is also free. You should never provide personal information to organizations that the USDA has not approved to distribute FFWR relief funds, including personal documents or any other forms of identification.

Assistance is available through Pasa by email in English at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and in Spanish at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. In addition, phone support is available in English and Spanish by calling (833) 469-3397 on Monday – Thursday, 9 a.m. – 8 p.m. ET, Friday, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. ET, and Sunday, 4 p.m. – 8 p.m. ET.


USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender. Pasa Sustainable Agriculture is a grantee of the USDA-AMS Farm and Food Worker Relief Program.

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