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How eligible food and farm workers can apply for a $600 relief payment through Cherokee Nation

Photo provided by the Cherokee Nation

The Cherokee Nation is giving one-time $600 relief payments to farmworkers and meatpackers who worked during the pandemic through theFarm and Food Workers Relief Program.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture allocated $41 million to Cherokee Nation, in addition to14 other agencies, to distribute federal relief payments over the next two years.

Applicants must be 18 years or older and have been paid for an hour of work on a farm, ranch or meat processing facility between January 27, 2020 and April 10, 2023 to be eligible for relief money.

Cherokee Nation Secretary of Natural Resources Chad Harsha said the relief payments for farm and food workers will help offset the costs related to the pandemic.

“Cherokee Nation recognizes the hard work that these frontline workers across the country perform, not only through the pandemic but every day, for the farm and food industry,” Harsha said in a statement. “It is our hope that this payment can relieve some of the financial burdens that these essential workers have experienced.”

Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. said as many as six million Native Americans may be eligible for relief payments.

Farm and food workers living within the Cherokee Nation reservation can apply butpriority will be given to applicants of federally recognized tribes across the country. Eligible applicants will have to provide identification as well as proof of employment and tribal citizenship when applying online.

The Farm and Food Workers Relief Grant Program allocated a total of $667 million in Consolidated Appropriations Act funds to provide grants to state agencies, Tribal entities, and nonprofit organizations with experience in providing support or relief services to farmworkers and meatpacking workers.

This report was produced by the Oklahoma Public Media Exchange, a collaboration of public media organizations. Help support collaborative journalism by donating at the link at the top of this webpage.

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