WASHINGTON – The US Department of Agriculture and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack recently announced $100 million in funds under the new Food Supply Chain Guaranteed Loan Program that would uphold nearly $1 billion in loan guarantees. 

The agency said the loan guarantees would back private investment in processing and food system infrastructure that will strengthen the food supply chain. The money was made available through the American Rescue Plan.

“The pandemic exposed vulnerabilities and created extreme disruptions in America’s food supply chain,” Vilsack said. “The reduction in meat processing capacity is just one example of the supply chain bottlenecks that affect small and midsize farmers.”

The lenders and USDA partners will guarantee up to $40 million in loans to help eligible entities expand meat and poultry processing capacity and finance other food supply chain infrastructure. 

The announcement of $100 million in funds is additional to the July USDA announcement that pledged $500 million toward expanding meat processing capacity across the country.

Lenders may provide the loans to eligible cooperatives, corporations, for-profits, nonprofits, Tribal communities, public bodies and people in rural and urban areas.

USDA’s Rural Development (RD) will administer the loans with funding used for start-up or expand food supply chain activities such as aggregating, processing, manufacturing, storing, transporting, wholesaling or distributing food. The loan can also address supply chain bottlenecks and increase capacity for the supply chain. 

More information about the loans can be found here