King County Council approves relief funding; CHOMP! beneficiaries announced; local farm support during fall

LFI banner 2

King County Council approves relief funding for COVID-19 impacts to the agricultural sector


The King County Council has allocated $1,380,000 to help King County farmers and farmers markets comply with public health and safety operating requirements to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and to overcome losses due to COVID-19.

In addition to supporting farm businesses and farmers markets, relief funding under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act will ensure continued access to fresh, local farm products by income-challenged residents of King County. 

Relief funding is allocated into five programmatic areas, detailed below:

  • Grant programs for King County farm businesses impacted by COVID-19;
  • Grant programs for King County farmers markets impacted by COVID-19;
  • Increase purchases by King County food banks for local farm products;
  • Increase purchases by senior meal providers for local farm products; and
  • Technical assistance program for farm businesses to launch eCommerce marketing platforms.

Grant programs for farm businesses


Due to Public Health safe operating requirements, farm owners have had to develop and implement new safety protocols, which have added operating costs at a time when cash-flow is most constrained.

Under the CARES Act, the King County Council created this relief funding to help reimburse King County farm businesses for the unanticipated costs of responding to COVID-19. The relief funding will not only help farmers survive 2020 but will position them to enter the 2021 farming season in a stronger financial position. 

The King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks will process requests for reimbursement and a single reimbursement payment will be made to farmers, up to an initial maximum of $1,000, upon submittal of an invoice (standard template will be required) and legitimate expense documentation. If all the funding does not get allocated, larger reimbursement amounts may be considered.

Interested farmers and farm organizations can apply for reimbursement of COVID-19 related expenses at, which includes links to the application and instructions in English, Spanish and Hmong.

For additional information, contact Richard Martin at or call (206) 477-3876.

Image courtesy of Harvest Against Hunger.

read more

Grant programs for King County farmers markets


In 2019, there were 41 farmers markets operating in King County. As of the end of June, only 26 of the 41 King County markets had been able to open and all expressed significant concern about the financial burden they have incurred and will continue to incur to ensure the safety of vendors, customers and staff.

The King County Council has allocated $410,000 for this component of the program. An initial targeted maximum of $10,000 in emergency relief funding will be reimbursed to each eligible farmers market location in King County. However, additional funds may become available and King County is committed to reimbursing markets for as much of their COVID-19 related loss as possible. Documentation of lost revenue or additional incurred expenses is required for payment.

read more

Visit to learn more and to submit an application for reimbursement.

Please contact,, or call (206) 477-1556 for more information or to request assistance.

Image courtesy of Seattle Neighborhood Farmers Markets.

Farm to food bank and farm to senior meal provider programs


As a result of the restrictions associated with Gov. Jay Inslee’s “Stay Home Stay Healthy” order, many King County farmers have lost market share and associated sales.

King County has contracted with Harvest Against Hunger (HAH), a local non-profit organization with extensive experience connecting farm businesses to emergency food system providers.  HAH operates an existing program called King County Farmers Share that facilitates connections between area food banks, senior meal provider programs and local King County farmers.

The CARES Act funding provided by the King County Council will allow that program increase purchases by existing food banks and senior meal providers and expand to new organizations. 

The relief funding will allow food banks and senior meal providers to purchase produce directly from farmers, which gives local farmers an additional, much-needed market option and increases access to fresh, local farm products by income-challenged residents. 

King County Council has allocated $300,000 for this program ($150,000 for farm to foodbank and $150,000 for senior meal programs).

read more

Interested farmers, farm organizations, food banks and senior meal providers should visit to learn more and participate. 

Please contact Maddie Price at for more information or call 206-236-0408.

Image courtesy of Harvest Against Hunger.