Fayetteville, Arkansas- The Native American Agriculture Fund has distributed $2 million dollars in rapid response funding to 74 grantees across Indian Country to aid tribal producers and their communities during the COVID-19 crisis.
These grants will provide critical relief through non-profits, community development financial institutions (CDFI), educational institutions and Tribal governments. NAAF funds will help these entities respond to their immediate needs in Indian Country’s food system caused by the Coronavirus pandemic. NAAF provided these grants to its existing 2019 grantees to fund work they have underway to assist Native farmers and ranchers. The 2020 Rapid Response grantees will execute 74 innovative projects across the country that will provide business assistance and technical support for Native farmers and ranchers.
The 2020 Rapid Response Grants will fund:
- 84,282 Native farmers and ranchers
- 3,316 Native students
- 200,476 Native households
- 21,700 food boxes to Native families
- $489,000 in grants to Native producers through Native CDFI’s
- $68,000 in scholarships for Native students
“The COVID-19 pandemic has made clear how essential our farmers and ranchers are,” said Janie Hipp, CEO of the Native American Agriculture Fund and a citizen of the Chickasaw Nation. “Indian Country and our Native producers have been hit hard by the virus. Because of the disproportionate impact to tribal communities, we funded projects that not only addressed the immediate needs of Indian Country’s farmers and ranchers but also selected projects that will build resilience in tribal communities that lasts beyond the pandemic. The seeds planted with the Native American Agriculture Fund’s Rapid Response grants will help create long lasting and transformative change in Indian Country for years to come.”