The California Department of Food and Agriculture announced that the counties of Fresno and San Joaquin are the first local partners to participate in Housing for the Harvest. The new program provides temporary hotel housing options for farm and food processing employees to self-isolate if they are COVID-19 positive and do not require hospitalization, or have been exposed and cannot properly self-isolate at home.
The state is securing hotel rooms in participating counties like Fresno and San Joaquin, with local governments identifying administrators to manage the program and local community organizations to provide additional services, like meals, wellness checks and in-language assistance. Local administrators will serve as a point of contact for eligible workers. Local administrators of the program can include a county or city agency, a Native American tribe, a non-profit organization, or a philanthropic organization.
“Agricultural workers play an essential role in ensuring the continuity of our food supply, and they work on the front lines of the pandemic so that Californians can continue to put food on the table,” said CDFA Secretary Karen Ross. “Housing for the Harvest adds to the action the state is taking to safeguard workers, their families and public health.”
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Housing for the Harvest will ultimately be made available statewide and provide opt-in housing support for any counties or regions that are interested. California has received FEMA approval for this program during the COVID-19 pandemic and will seek federal reimbursement for 75 percent of hotel costs.
Farmworkers and food processing workers in Fresno County who are in need of these services are urged to visit www.thehealthyharvest.org or www.cosechasana.org or call 559-710-2000. For agricultural business on-site testing scheduling, please visit www.thehealthyharvest.org.
Farmworkers or food processing workers in San Joaquin County who are in need of these services are urged to call Catholic Charities at 209-469-1120.
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