The Arkansas General Assembly appropriated $5 million in federal funds to support Arkansas meat processors, available under section 601(a) of the Social Security Act, as added by 5001 of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act”). The Arkansas Department of Agriculture (“Department”) will administer the Meat and Poultry Processing Grant Program.
The Meat and Poultry Processing Grant was created to support Arkansas meat and poultry processing facilities, with fewer than 200 employees, to address supply chain disruptions and mitigate health and environmental impacts as a result of the COVID-19 public health emergency. Projects should aim to improve food supply resilience through increasing livestock or poultry slaughter, expanding meat or poultry processing capacity, or promoting worker safety. Grants may reimburse workforce assistance, equipment, capital improvements and other eligible costs incurred from March 1, 2020 through November 30, 2020.
Funding will be available for federally inspected and custom exempt slaughter and processing facilities. Both existing facilities and new facilities that will soon be in operation are eligible to apply. All facilities must provide proof of their current or anticipated inspection status no later than November 30, 2020.
The Arkansas Department of Agriculture will accept applications beginning on August 21, 2020 and will receive applications through September 30, 2020.
August 21, 2020: Applications and guidelines made available
September 30, 2020: Last day to submit an application
October 5, 2020: Applicants notified of acceptance or denial
November 30, 2020: Last day that eligible expenses may be incurred for reimbursement
December 15, 2020: Deadline for all expenditure and reimbursement documentation to be submitted to the Department