Oregon Gov. Kate Brown announced Saturday the launch of new programs offering financial assistance to agricultural workers who must self-quarantine due to coronavirus.
The Oregon Worker Quarantine Fund will provide up to two weeks of financial assistance to agricultural workers ages 18 and older, regardless of their immigration status.
The Oregon Health Authority also Saturday launched the Community Partners and Outreach — Protecting Oregon Farmworkers Program. That program allows agricultural workers who are either recovering from COVID-19 or self-quarantining to apply to the Quarantine Fund through local community partners.
“This pandemic has exacerbated disparities in our systems that already existed — especially for low-income communities, rural communities, immigrants, and communities of color,” Brown said in a statement. “Oregonians working in agriculture and food processing are providing a vital service, ensuring families continue to have food on their tables and grocery store shelves during this pandemic. And yet, the nature of this work puts agricultural and food processing workers at higher risk of exposure to COVID-19.”
The fund is administered by the Oregon Worker Relief Coalition, working in collaboration with state agencies and Brown’s office.
“Many in our state’s agricultural workforce are immigrants who have been left out of federal relief programs, creating additional financial stress for families,” Reyna Lopez, executive director at PCUN, Oregon’s farmworker union, said in a statement.
Agricultural workers can apply for relief through local community-based organizations here or by calling 1-888-274-7292.