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The United States Department of Agriculture recently announced a new assistance program for our nation’s farmers and ranchers who continue to be negatively affected by COVID-19. The Coronavirus Food Assistance Program 2 (CFAP2) will provide agriculture producers with direct financial assistance in order to help offset increasing costs associated with COVID-19.
Commodities eligible for assistance include row crops, livestock, dairy, alfalfa, broilers and eggs, and more. The USDA will be accepting applications for CFAP2 from September 21st to December 11, 2020. To apply, call your local Farm Service Agency office to schedule an appointment. A call center has also been established for one on one assistance which can be reached at 877-508-8364. More information on CFAP2 can be found at farmers.gov/cfap.
The USDA also announced that they are extending flexibilities in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for women, infants, and children (WIC). This program helps low income pregnant and postpartum women, infants, and children up to the age of 5 have access to nutritional food and information on healthy eating.
One of the key waivers that was extended allows for participants applying for WIC to be approved without the need to be physically present at a local office to take height, weight, and bloodwork requirements previously required for enrollment and re-enrollment. In addition, this waiver allows for the remote distribution of benefits so that participants are not required to come to the clinic to pick up benefit cards or paper coupons, decreasing the likelihood of exposure to COVID-19. Another critical waiver being extended includes flexibility in food package contents for dairy, grain, vegetable, and infant food when availability is limited.
Governor Ricketts recently announced a new program to provide short term housing accommodations for Nebraskans so they can safely quarantine and prevent transmission of the virus between their place of work and their home, protecting family members who may have adverse health conditions. Presently, the program is open to teachers and other school staff, meat processing workers, and first responders. The program provides free accommodations at hotels for 14 days or until the condition improves. More information and the application process can be found at dhhs.ne.gov.
Finally, the Department of Health and Human Services in conjunction with Nebraska’s 19 local health departments has issued new quarantine guidelines for students who have been exposed to COVID-19. The new guideline changes allow for students who have been exposed to the virus to continue attending classes In lieu of quarantining, if: they self-monitor and wear a mask, the exposure occurred during extracurricular activities, outdoors, or in a non-confined space, or if the exposure occurred in a confined space such as a classroom but both persons were wearing masks.
Over the interim, my office remains open and we look forward to a busy schedule working on issues affecting this District and Nebraska. I appreciate hearing from you and encourage you to contact my office at 402-471-2719 or email@example.com.
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