CARES Act funds still available to improve inventory and distribution of Nevada meat, produce and agricultural products

Two projects awarded; second round of applications due Sept. 28, 2020


Rebecca Allured
Public Information Officer
(SPARKS, Nev.) - September 15, 2020

The Nevada Department of Agriculture (NDA) seeks additional partners to address agriculture product inventory and distribution needs during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Nevada community organizations, businesses, and individuals are encouraged to submit project applications that will increase access to fresh fruits, vegetables, meat, and other agricultural products grown or raised in Nevada. Project proposals should also benefit Nevada agricultural producers, allow for inventory data to be uploaded and updated, and facilitate aggregation and distribution options for products, including delivery options.

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act provides funding to states to address the various impacts of the pandemic. There is $400,000 set aside to support inventory and distribution solutions for Nevada agriculture products.

“We are pleased to have awarded funding to two projects already that will bring much-needed inventory and distribution support,” NDA Director Jennifer Ott said. “Funding is still available for projects that will provide easier access for Nevadans to buy locally produced agricultural products. One of the greatest needs in Nevada’s existing local food system is access to USDA-certified harvesting and processing facilities to support local meat producers.”

This is the second round of request for applications for the CARES Inventory and Distribution Systems for Nevada Agriculture Produce and Products. Two projects were funded in round 1 to help address COVID-19 impacts to food systems through December. The Fallon Food Hub and Desert Farming Initiative are teaming up to implement a new regional distribution network, aggregating fresh produce from west central Nevada farmers and transporting it to markets that serve Carson City, Churchill, Douglas, Lyon and Washoe counties. Reno Food Systems will combine fresh produce from their farm with purchased produce from other local farmers and remaining inventory at the end of local farmers markets. Using their refrigerated mobile farmers market truck, they will sell fresh produce in food insecure neighborhoods. In addition to making produce accessible and affordable to vulnerable populations, they offer free recipes and advice for how to use vegetables in inventory.

Applications must be submitted to the NDA via email by 5 p.m. on Sept. 28, 2020. Full application requirements, including a scoring rubric and federal Coronavirus Relief Fund guidance, can be found online.

The Nevada Department of Agriculture (NDA) mission is to preserve, protect and promote Nevada’s agriculture. The department has 150 dedicated employees providing services in its five divisions, Administration, Animal Industry, Consumer Equitability, Food and Nutrition, and Plant Industry. The department’s $232 million budget facilitates regulatory and administrative work in agriculture and food manufacturing industries, protecting public and environmental health and worker safety, and providing food distribution and oversight for the United States Department of Agriculture’s school and community nutrition programs.