2020 AWARDEES

As of June 30, CAFF announced four rounds of emergency assistance grants to California farmers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Most of the growers have not or are unlikely to receive other forms of assistance, falling through the cracks of state and federal stimulus efforts. The California Family Farmer Emergency Fund has so far awarded 89 micro-grants totaling over $222,000. Here are just a few of the recipients:

“With this grant my family farm will be able to buy personal protective gear to help us continue farming during this pandemic. This gives me hope that during a crisis like this there is light in the middle of the storm. Thank you so much!!!”

Lee Xiong

Xiong’s Fresh Produce

“Our family, at Products from Paradise, wants to sincerely thank CAFF and all of the donors for your amazing support! This grant will help us to continue our growth during these uncertain times in order to accomplish our mission of providing quality, fresh, locally grown Nopales and tomatillo to communities all across the California Central Valley. We hope to support the growing interest in Hispanic cuisine and equitable access to healthy food.”

Darlene Ruiz

Products From Paradise

“Due to the COVID 19 pandemic, I have lost sale. This grant is greatly significant and provides me much needed stress relief due to my lost sale. I will use it wisely to continue farming, pay for my rent of farmland, and fix walk-in cooler. Your support allows me and my family has an opportunity to regain our financially lost and keep our farm running. It is very meaningful to us to fight with this struggle together. Thank you again for your assistant and support.”

Xue Qiong Tan

Morgan Hill,CA

“This money awarded to me and my family means a lot to us. My family is really grateful because with this money I can use it toward fertilization of my plant and also part of it to pay for my wife’s funeral experience. Me and my family are really thankful.”

Isidro Leon

Leon farming

“As our country undergo a health crisis, my family and I are struggling financially. Typically, at this time of year we are selling our vegetables to local venders and able to distribute our vegetables nationwide. However, due to the pandemic my family and I often find it hard to make ends meet. We are struggling to buy fertilizers for our growing crops and diesel for our tractor so we can continue to farm.

My parents are longtime local farmer in Fresno. I grew up farming with my parents and would like to continue on this tradition. We appreciate the emergency fund. With the emergency fund we will be able to purchase necessary fertilizers for our growing crops, diesel and purchase masks in order to get ready to harvest our vegetables.”

Cher Xiong

Cher Xiong Farm

I want to thank the scholarship that was awarded to me. Money that we will use to continue making produce our strawberry. We will also continue to give work to working families and, consequently, helping the recovery of the country’s economy. Thanks for everything.

Armando Barragan Mendez

MGA Farms

“It’s hard to put into words our gratitude for the CAFF grant at Oz Farm. For us, it means the space to take a small breath of relief, and a reminder to have trust even in such uncertain times. We are honored and invigorated by CAFF’s support to keep on tending the soil and sharing nutritious food with our neighbors and community members in Mendocino County.”

Madeline Holtzman

Oz Farm

photo of family from Rancho Santa Cecilia

“First and foremost, Thank you so much! This grant will help us with our overhead costs, most importantly aid us in keeping our team employed and able to feed and nurture their families. This means so much to us during these difficult time. We have so much gratitude for CAFF. […] Again thank you so much. We cannot thank you enough for your kindness and help during such a difficult time.”

The Marquez Family

Rancho Santa Cecilia

“From the bottom of our hearts thank you so much for this grant. We will be able to pay our bills on time and continue to pay off our tools we currently use for harvesting and for moving our season forward. Without you all we would have defaulted on a loan and we are so grateful that the farming community has allowed us to come through this tumultuous time. Thank you so much!”

Esther and Javier Gomez

Prairie Companion Company

Balakian Farms 2

“The CAFF grant will allow Balakian Farms to continue organic, sustainable farming practices that promote healthy lifestyles, and a healthy environment. During this uncertain time, it creates opportunities that promote multi-generational relationships through utilization of sound methods and farming practices at our family farm.”

Amber Balakian

Balakian Farms

“The COVID-19 pandemic changed things dramatically for me very quickly as a farmer as we lost all of our revenue streams pretty immediately. As a single mother, such losses are devastating. This grant will help me to cover some of our costs as we have changed our farm model very quickly and are hustling to meet new demands and to serve our community the healthiest and freshest food we can grow. Thank you so much for this help – this has a significant impact for us to help us keep going.”

Bianca Bonilla

Community Roots Farm

“I’m so grateful to have the CAFF’s donors that believe and support farmers. I have a 9 acre farm, every year being a farmer gets more and more challenging from minimum wage raising each year, overtime rules changing, to not having enough employees to harvest the crops. This pandemic has brought a new challenge to our industry. As you know many people have lost their jobs and are now only buying essential food and strawberries are luxury food and vegetables are more essential food. This grant will help me to buy zucchini seeds to be able to plant and harvest for June and be able to help pay my farm mortgage payment.”

Bertha Magana

Magana Farms

The Afzal family would like to thank CAFF for this incredible funding opportunity. When the COVID-19 pandemic started and our business took a hit we did a lot of research into finding support for small farmers but could find very little support to help small farmers. As farmers, we often have many things working against us that we have very little control over yet this is one of the most important jobs in the world and we take great pride in helping feed our community. Running a small family farm can be even more difficult for an immigrant family that has the odds stacked against them. This grant allows us to continue doing the work that we are very proud of.”

Muzammil Afzal

MA Farm

“Thank you so much for awarding us this grant! For the past couple of months and even till this day, my husband and I are struggling to keep up with our bills and maintaining our farm that we love due to the pandemic. This grant will allow us to catch up on some bills and create a safety net for us to continue to do what we love. Thank you, CAFF for supporting our little farm.”

Pa Xiong

Pa Xiong’s Farm