Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria have caused historic destruction in Texas, Louisiana, Florida, Puerto Rico and across the Caribbean. In early September, Farm Aid activated its Family Farm Disaster Fund to provide aid to organizations helping family farmers affected by Hurricane Harvey, and later expanded to include those affected by Hurricane Irma.
“Our hearts are with everyone affected by these devastating hurricanes. The most recent destruction wrought by Hurricane Maria on the 3.4 million residents of Puerto Rico is overwhelming, and it is Farm Aid’s way to do what we can to help,” said Farm Aid president Willie Nelson. “Puerto Rico is part of the United States and family farmers there are facing unimaginable losses. They need to know we stand with them.”
Farm Aid has partnered with Visit Rico, a non-profit organization based in Puerto Rico. Visit Rico’s mission is to strengthen Puerto Rico’s agricultural economy through sustainable agritourism to achieve food sovereignty. Visit Rico has found that supplementing cash flow for farmers is the fastest way to help them get back on their feet to start planting seeds again. Visit Rico aims to temporarily replace the economic stability farmers had from their local farmer’s markets, which must be rebuilt. To read more about their effort, visit gofundme.com/5markets.
Since activation of the Family Farm Disaster Fund following Hurricane Harvey, Farm Aid has raised more than $82,000. Farm Aid will utilize every dollar raised to distribute emergency funds to farm families affected by the hurricanes in partnership with local organizations working on the ground; to offer resources that help farmers navigate their farm recovery options, from mental health services to federal funding opportunities; and to advocate for needed disaster recovery funds and resources from the federal government.
Farm Aid is also working with partners in disaster-affected areas to determine the long-term needs of impacted farmers and ranchers. If you are a farmer and have been affected by these devastating hurricanes, additional tools are available at www.farmaid.org/disaster. To donate, please visit farmaid.org/hurricanes.
Farm Aid’s mission is to build a vibrant, family farm-centered system of agriculture in America. Farm Aid artists and board members Willie Nelson, Neil Young, John Mellencamp and Dave Matthews host an annual festival to raise funds to support Farm Aid’s work with family farmers and to inspire people to choose family farm food. For more than 30 years, Farm Aid, with the support of the artists who contribute their performances each year, has raised more than $50 million to support programs that help farmers thrive, expand the reach of the Good Food Movement, take action to change the dominant system of industrial agriculture and promote food from family farms.