Willie Nelson
Farm Aid President Willie Nelson signs 2018 grant checks from his kitchen table. (Farm Aid)

Farm Aid Distributes More Than Half A Million In Grants In 2018

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CAMBRIDGE, MA (CelebrityAccess) — Farm Aid, an advocacy group founded by Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp and Neil Young to help American family farmers, announced that it has distributed more than half a million dollars in grant funding in 2018.

In 2018, Farm Aid granted $695,679 to farmers and 78 family farm, rural service, and urban agriculture organizations in 36 states and the District of Columbia.

As well, emergency grants totaling $45,000 were made to farm families to cover essential household expenses. The grants, which come in blocks of $500, are recommended on a case-by-case basis by Farm Aid’s farm advocates, who answer calls on the 1-800-FARM-AID hotline and put needy farmers in touch with services and resources to match their specific need.

“As farmers continue to face incredible threats to their survival, our grant decisions were guided by the need to first and foremost strengthen organizations that provide essential resources to keep family farmers on the land,” said Farm Aid President Willie Nelson. “We are so grateful for the hard work and commitment of folks across the country who fight for family farms.”

In New England, where the annual Farm Aid benefit music and food festival took place at the XFINITY Theatre in Hartford, Connecticut, in September, the organization invested more than $100,000 in 18 programs in the region.

The list of regional recipients includes the Bridgeport Farmer’s Market, CitySeed, Inc., Farm Fresh Rhode Island, the Hartford Food System, the Green Village Initiative, the Real Food Challenge, the Connecticut Farmland Trust, and the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association among others.

Earlier this year, Farm Aid granted $40,500 to assist farm and ranch families in the Carolinas who suffered devastation after Hurricane Florence and the organization continues to work with stakeholders in the region to help with long-term recovery.

“Thanks to generous supporters from across the country, today Farm Aid makes grants to grassroots groups and advocates doing the hard work to keep family farmers on the land,” said Executive Director Carolyn Mugar. “Farm Aid grants strengthen family farm agriculture, challenge corporate power in our food system, increase access to good food for all of us, and grow new farmers to steward our soil and water. These are critical activities that benefit us all.”

Farm Aid’s Board currently includes Willie Nelson, Neil Young, John Mellencamp, and Dave Matthews.

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