Nearly $10.5 million in federal Coronavirus Relief Funding and American Recovery Plan Act funding will be used to support Connecticut’s dairy and aquaculture industries.
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Additional dollars will be used to address food insecurity with funds to purchase CT Grown products for drive-through distributions and extending the availability of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits at farmers markets.

Previously, $1.45 million was allocated to programs that support farmers and food access in Connecticut, including CT Grown for CT Kids; the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program; the Senior’s Farmers Market Nutrition program; and Foodshare’s drive-through distribution. That money will keep Foodshare distribution open through at least the end of October, according to Gov. Ned Lamont’s office.

With the federal funding, the state will have reached a total investment of $10.3 million in those programs.

“Our farmers and their teams are essential workers who played a critical role in getting Connecticut through the worst of the Covid-19 pandemic,” Lamont said. “I am grateful for their dedication to ensuring that our residents have access to clean, healthy food. This investment will help keep these incredibly important businesses afloat and keep Connecticut families fed.”

“Connecticut agriculture was deemed essential during the COVID-19 pandemic, allowing them to continue planting, growing, and harvesting a diverse array of food critical to feeding the residents of our state,” added Connecticut Agriculture Commissioner Bryan P. Hurlburt said. “However, like so many others, these family businesses were negatively impacted by market disruptions and closures. These funds will strengthen those sectors most severely impacted while also investing in food security programs buying Connecticut Grown food products to support local families.”

“We are grateful for the support we continue to receive from Gov. Lamont and our federal delegation and their commitment to prioritizing fighting food insecurity in Connecticut, as well as their role in securing this Covid-19 relief funding used to fund these projects,” Connecticut Foodshare CEO and President Jason Jakubowski said.

“These strategic investments in agriculture are in great need for farmers to continue operating and providing safe, affordable, and healthy foods to residents,” said Joan Nichols, executive director of the Connecticut Farm Bureau Association.

Aurora Dairies, one of the largest milk producers in the country, has added Gray Wigg Gault’s Clydebank Aggregation in Victoria’s Gippsland region to its expanding portfolio for around $20 million.

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