US Department of Agriculture Grants United Ways of California $42 Million To Address Economic Inequities Faced by California Farmworkers
In partnership with 16 local United Ways, United Ways of California is honored to announce they have been awarded a $42 million grant from the US Department of Agriculture to provide economic relief to farmworkers and their families. This is the largest award in the organization’s 14-year history. United Ways of California is one of 15 organizations nationwide to receive funding.
According to the USDA, “Organizations were selected for their proven track records working with farmworkers, meatpacking workers, and front-line grocery workers, their strong partnerships with worker-serving organizations, and their ability to provide services in critical geographic areas to collectively ensure nationwide coverage under this program.” Funds from this grant will be used to provide economic relief to farmworkers who incurred pandemic-related health and safety costs.
“According to our Real Cost Measure study, an estimated 3.5 million households in California struggle to make ends meet, and 97% have at least one working adult, so what we are seeing is that hardworking families living in the golden state aren’t making enough in basic wages to get by,” shares United Ways of California President and CEO, Pete Manzo. “United Ways across California are determined to help bridge the financial gaps many households are experiencing in today’s economic climate. This grant from the USDA helps us continue to address existing inequities and alleviate some of the financial burden California farmworkers are facing by providing cash support to households struggling across our state.”
United Ways of California will distribute funding to California United Ways and work collaboratively with local United Ways across the state to provide relief through direct cash support to California farmworkers. California United Ways who will be helping disseminate these funds in their local communities include:
- United Way California Capital Region
- United Way of Nevada County
- United Way of San Joaquin County
- United Way of Stanislaus County
- United Way of Merced County
- United Way Fresno and Madera Counties
- United Way of Tulare County
- Kings United Way
- United Way of Kern County
- United Way of Santa Cruz County
- United Way Monterey County
- United Way of San Luis Obispo County
- Northern Santa Barbara County United Way
- United Way of Ventura County
- Inland Empire United Way
- United Way of Imperial County
USDA funding has also been awarded to national organizations for three pilot programs to support grocery workers in recognition of their essential role in the pandemic response.