Government grant seeks to help small-scale meat processors in Washington


MOUNT VERNON, Wash. (AP) — The Washington state Department of Agriculture is offering COVID-19 relief grants to small-scale meat processors to help them cover costs of boosting capacity during the pandemic.

The Skagit Valley Herald reports meat processing relief grants are available to processors with 250 employees or less to help them meet the rising demand for locally produced meats.

Applications for grants of up to $150,000 are due by Nov. 16.

Small meat processors in Skagit County have reported being busier than ever this year following slowdowns or shutdowns in national meat packing plants this past spring.

Grant funds can be used for equipment, physical improvements, additional labor, worker and customer safety, and other expenses incurred between March 1 and Dec. 30, according to the grant application.

Applicants must be U.S. Department of Agriculture-inspected facilities — including mobile units — or custom operations licensed by the state Department of Agriculture. Both new and existing operations are eligible.