The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) announced the publication of a Request for Applications (RFA) for the Seafood Processor Pandemic Response and Safety (SPRS) Block Grant Program. The SPRS grant program will provide approximately $50 million in assistance to seafood processing facilities and processing vessels through block grants to State agencies. USDA allocated funding to certain U.S. states and territories based on a formula that considers economic activity as demonstrated through commercial fisheries landings, as detailed in the RFA. This program is funded by the Pandemic Assistance provided in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021.
Once USDA has awarded funds, state agencies will then provide funds to seafood processing facilities and processing vessels. Seafood processors and processing vessels would then apply directly through their state agency. A listing of state contacts will be made available on the USDA website. Tribal government owned eligible entities may apply directly to USDA, details of which will be developed through tribal consultation in conjunction with Office of Tribal Relations.
Eligible state agencies must apply for funding by 11:59 pm EDT on November 22, 2021. Applications received after the due date will be subject to the AMS’ – Policy on Late Applications (pdf). AMS will offer technical assistance to states through a webinar in October 2021.