Updates on COVID-19 from CISA's Executive Director
CISA's Executive Director, Philip Korman, shares some thoughts, updates, and well wishes as we all navigate this new reality together. Please watch!
Local farms are here for you. Be there for them!
Local farms, restaurants, and other local businesses have adapted quickly and thoughtfully in response to the COVID-19 crisis so they can keep feeding and serving our communities. This has truly been inspiring to see -- and they need your support more than ever to keep it going!

We are keeping track of new purchasing options that local businesses have set up to keep you safe. This list is updated daily. Please share it!

HIP (Healthy Incentives Program) is up and running again, providing an instant rebate when you use SNAP to buy produce from participating farms. The HIP - Pioneer Valley Facebook page is up to date with participating locations. (And advocacy for the program is ongoing -- read CISA's March column in the Daily Hampshire Gazette here.)

Signing up for a summer farm share now is an excellent way to support a local farm and to ensure a steady flow of local veggies, meat, herbs, etc. this summer. CSA farms are making plans to adapt to whatever circumstances the summer brings, and they need your support to do it.

Many farmers' markets open in April and May, and farmers' market managers and vendors are working closely with local Boards of Health and other town agencies to figure out plans for this spring. Opening dates are still being figured out as they work to prioritize your health and the safety of their vendors. Stay tuned!
Now Open: CISA's Emergency Farm Fund
CISA's Emergency Farm Fund is now accepting applications from farms in Franklin, Hampden, and Hampshire counties that have experienced income loss because of sales outlet closures or other disruptions due to COVID-19. The Emergency Farm Fund offers zero-interest loans to assist farmers and farm businesses struggling to meet their immediate financial needs because of market changes and closures. In partnership with the Franklin County CDC and the Pioneer Valley Grows Investment Fund, we are offering zero-interest loans up to $25,000.

The first application deadline is April 13, 2020. We expect to open a second round of applications later in the spring.

COVID-19 resources for businesses
We are compiling resources that we have found to be most useful for Massachusetts farmers and other businesses. These are being updated constantly.

Get in touch
We want to hear from you! How is this affecting you, your employees, your sales? What sort of support do you need? Are you making changes to your business that we can help promote? Please get in touch with Devon, Zoey, or Stevie, or call the office at 413-665-7100. Staff is working remotely but will receive phone messages.
Watch now: Field Notes
Is your brain ready for a break from the news of the day? CISA's storytelling event, Field Notes: An Afternoon of Storytelling is now available on YouTube! Enjoy these true tales of resilience, family, adapting to change, and silliness from farmers, gardeners, restaurateurs, and other local folks.
Quick Links

Check out our press page for news stories about local farms and local agriculture, along with our weekly interview series on WRSI, monthly column in the , and more!
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