The COVID-19 Assistance Package includes provisions supported by Senate Agriculture Chair Debbie Stabenow. Stabenow says, “We need to take bold action to get farmers, families, and rural communities the help they need to weather this crisis and come out stronger on the other end.” The Michigan Democrat worked with House Agriculture Committee Chairman David Scott and House Education and Labor Committee Chairman Bobby Scott to secure the provisions in the bill.
Those provisions provide additional food assistance for those facing hunger by continuing a 15 percent boost in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, and allows the Secretary of Agriculture to address supply chain issues facing the food and agriculture sector. The Senate Ag Chair says the bill also supports farmers of color and invests in rural hospitals, along with expanding vaccine distribution in rural communities. The legislation would help rural hospitals make up for high costs and lost revenue, and increases telehealth capabilities.