Maine potato farmers have received approximately $28 million in federal assistance amid COVID-19
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Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Susan Collins met with several members of the Maine Potato Board (MPB) via Zoom to discuss the potato industry’s priorities for the upcoming year. Members of the MPB thanked Senator Collins for her continued advocacy on behalf of the potato industry, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I was delighted to meet with members of the Maine Potato Board to talk about this important agricultural industry. Amid the pandemic, the industry has struggled with the widespread closure of restaurants and other local businesses,” said Senator Collins. “Following my advocacy, the USDA provided more than $28 million in direct assistance to Maine potato farmers who are facing an unprecedented crisis due to the economic impact of this virus. I will continue to advocate for an industry that does so much for the economy of Maine and for the good nutrition of all Americans.”
Amid COVID-19, Senator Collins secured $28 million in assistance for the Maine potato farmers through the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) that was included in the CARES Act, which has allowed the potato industry to reopen processing facilities and address the supply chain backlog.
Last year, in a letter to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Senator Collins elevated the concerns and questions raised by representatives of the potato industry, including MPB, who continue to face an unprecedented crisis due to the economic impact of COVID-19. Furthermore, Senator Collins offered recommendations for CFAP that would address the supply backlog and called for direct relief for potato growers.
The mission of the MPB is to provide a competitive environment for potato growers, processors, and dealers, creating stability and the infrastructure for future growth, while promoting the economic importance to the state and quality of the product.