Cover photo for Pandemic Response and Safety Grant Program

Pandemic Response and Safety Grant Program (PRS)

Agricultural Marketing Service

Closed November 22, 2021


The Pandemic Response and Safety (PRS) Grant Program provides grants to specialty crop producers and processors, other select producers, meat and other processors, distributors, and farmers markets to respond to coronavirus, including for measures to protect workers against novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID–19). Eligibility is generally open to businesses with less than $5 million in average annual revenue and with less than 500 full-time employees. 

It is free to apply to this program. The application is short and easy, and you can apply in these three steps:

Step 1: Find your DUNS number or apply for one.

Step 2: Document your expenses and intended expenses, making sure to have receipts or other documentation for the past expenses. (Ambrook created a template to help users itemize their expenses and apply for this program. Download it here as a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet or make an online copy here in Google Sheets.)

Step 3: Fill out the two-page online application on the USDA's website before 11:59 p.m. ET on November 22, 2021

You can read more about the template and the program in our long-form post about it.


Applicant must have a DUNS number to apply. A DUNS number is free but can take up to 5 business days to receive. Ambrook recommends applying for a DUNS number as soon as possible to avoid missing the deadline for this program. Go to this website or call (866) 705-5711 to start the process.

This first round of Pandemic Response and Safety (PRS) Grant Program funding is open to most small producers, food processors and distributors, and farmers markets, as long as the applicant's operation is smaller than the maximum size standards for that industry (quoted below).

  • All farmers markets

  • Crop Production with Average Annual Receipts less than $5 Million

  • Animal Production and Aquaculture with Average Annual Receipts less than $5 Million (Special note for livestock producers: Common livestock like cattle, hogs and poultry are not included under the eligible animal production industry categories. You may want to check under the food processing industries to see if your business qualifies. For example, poultry producers that process onsite may qualify under the category "Poultry processing.")

  • Post-Harvest Crop Activities with Average Annual Receipts less than $30 Million

  • Food Manufacturing with fewer than 500 employees. Many subsectors of Food Manufacturing are eligible all the way up to 1,250 employees—see this page for the exceptions

  • Merchant Wholesalers, Nondurable Goods with fewer than 500 employees

  • Warehousing and Storage with Average Annual Receipts less than $30 Million

  • Production and processing activities unrelated to human food, such as ornamental fish production or refrigeration and storage of fur, are not eligible to apply for funds

Allowable Outcomes and Activities

Implement workplace safety measures to protect workers against COVID-19

  • Provide personal protective equipment, thermometers, cleaning supplies, sanitizer, or hand washing stations

  • Install and purchase air filters or new signage

Implement market pivots to protect workers against COVID–19

  • Develop and implement online platforms

  • Use online or print materials to communicate market pivots

Retrofitting facilities for worker and consumer safety to protect against COVID–19

  • Install and purchase protective barriers made of plexiglass or plastic sheeting, walk up windows, heat lamps/heaters, fans, tents, propane, weights, tables, chairs and lighting

Provide additional transportation options to maintain social distancing and worker and consumer safety to protect against COVID-19

  • Secure additional transportation services for workers

  • Offer new delivery routes or distribution services

Provide worker housing that protects workers against COVID-19

  • Secure additional housing resources/services to maintain social distancing or to allow for quarantining of new or exposed employees

Provide health services to protect workers against COVID-19

  • Offer or enable vaccinations, testing, or healthcare treatment of infected employees, including any paid leave due to COVID-19 infection


  • Grant Recipients must retain receipts and other supporting documents related to the cost of the goods and services needed to achieve the outcomes identified in their PRS application.

  • Grant Recipients must submit copies of records and cost documentation upon the request.

  • Grant Recipients certify that they will not use the Payment to cover costs that have been reimbursed from other sources or that other sources are obligated to reimburse.

Full terms and conditions can be read here.


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Release Date

October 6, 2021


November 22, 2021


Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS)

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Updated November 23, 2021

This information was gathered from public sources. Ambrook is not responsible for or able to affect the results of any financial programs listed, nor are they responsible for any incorrect information that is listed or is on the hyperlinked external sites. All information is subject to change.

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