During a meeting of the State Ag Board Tuesday, CDFA Secretary Karen Ross said USDA's Farmers to Families Food Box program may be needed beyond the COVID-19 crisis.

“I'm very concerned about the profound impact to our families up and down the state of California with prolonged unemployment,” she said.

Ross added that the Great Recession led to a continued demand even as the economy rebounded.

“We want to make sure that we have put in place programs that will be there to help with this situation,” she said.

Ross added that several Central Valley counties are ready to opt in for the governor’s new Housing for Harvest program. The state has been using FEMA dollars to book hotel contracts.

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This will provide isolation housing for asymptomatic farmworkers exposed to COVID-19. Ross said the challenge will be communicating to farmworkers that these are safe places for them and their families.