Pandemic Response and Safety Grant Program

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) will begin accepting applications for the Pandemic Response and Safety (PRS) program on September 23, 2021 with applications due November 8, 2021 at 11:59pm Eastern Time. Approximately $650 million is available through this program.  

What is the PRS program? The PR) Grant Program provides grants to food processors, distributors, farmers markets, and producers to respond to coronavirus, including for measures to protect workers against novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID–19). This program is authorized and funded under section 751 of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 (Pub. L. No. 116—260). USDA developed the PRS Grant Program in response to extensive stakeholder feedback during listening sessions in March 2021, and written comments provided through March 30, 2021.

Who is eligible to apply? In this first round of PRS funding, USDA is targeting support to small businesses in certain commodity areas and farmers markets. To target this support, producers, food processors/manufacturers, and wholesalers/distributors denoted in the Eligible Industry Table, and farmers markets are eligible to apply for funding. The Eligible Industry Table details the different U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) small business qualifications for each eligible industry. The eligible entity types include:
  • Small Businesses
  • Nonprofits with 501C3 IRS Status

All applicants must be domestic entities owned, operated, and located within the 50 United States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the United States Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

While USDA is focusing this first round of funding to small businesses. USDA may expand eligibility in future rounds of funding to include mid-sized businesses not covered by the first round. Future rounds are dependent upon availability of funds. USDA is also focusing this first round of funding on certain commodities due to the unique impacts of the pandemic on their businesses, USDA may expand eligibility in future rounds of funding to include commodities not covered by the first round.

What can funding be used for? Approximately $650 million is available to fund applications through the Pandemic Response and Safety Grant Program (PRS). Funds will be used to issue grants for costs incurred between January 27, 2020, the date upon which the public health emergency was declared by U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under section 319 of the Public Health Service Act, and December 31, 2021. Grants will cover the activities associated with:
  • Workplace Safety: Implementing workplace safety measures to protect workers against COVID-19
    • Provide personal protective equipment, thermometers, cleaning supplies, sanitizer, or hand washing stations
    • Installation and purchase of air filters or new signage
  • Market Pivots: Implementing market pivots to protect workers against COVID–19
    • Develop and implement online platforms
    • Utilize online or print materials to communicate market pivots
  • Retrofitting Facilities: Retrofitting Facilities for Worker and Consumer Safety to protect against COVID–19
    • Installation and purchase of protective barriers made of plexiglass or plastic sheeting, walk up windows, heat lamps/heaters, fans, tents, propane, weights, tables, chairs and lighting
  • Transportation: Providing additional transportation options to maintain social distancing and worker and consumer safety to protect against COVID-19
    • Secure additional transportation services for workers
    • Offer new delivery routes or distribution services
  • Worker Housing: Providing worker housing that protects workers against COVID-19
    • Secure additional housing resources/services to maintain social distancing or to allow for quarantining of new or exposed employees
  • Medical: Providing health services to protect workers against COVID-19
    • Offer or enable vaccinations, testing, or healthcare treatment of infected employees, including any paid leave due to COVID-19 infection

What are the funding levels for this program? Funding requests may range from $1,500 to $20,000.

Is there a cost-share or match requirement? No cost sharing or matching funds are required.

All applications submitted before the deadline will be considered for funding. More information on this program can be found here.

For more information on this program or how to apply with Morrison’s assistance, please contact the Morrison Grants Team by email at or call us at 530-893-4764.


We’ve worked with a wide variety of clients on a broad range of projects and are happy to discuss solutions that can best fit your needs.

Get in Touch