New USDA Loan Program Focused on Food Supply Chain Revitalization
Feb 08, 2022
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary, Tom Vilsack recently announced that the USDA is deploying $100 million under the new Food Supply Chain Guaranteed Loan Program to make nearly $1 billion available in loan guarantees. The objectives are to support new investments in infrastructure for food aggregation, processing, manufacturing, storage, transportation, wholesaling, and distribution, and to also increase capacity and create a more resilient, diverse, and secure U.S. food supply chain.
What is the Food Supply Chain Guaranteed Loan Program?
The Food Supply Chain Guaranteed Loan Program is a part of the USDA’s Build Back Better initiative to strengthen critical supply chains and our food system. This program guarantees loans of up to $40 million for qualified lenders to finance food system projects, specifically for the start-up or expansion of activities in the middle of the food supply chain.
Eligible borrowers must be directly engaged in the middle of the food supply chain, specifically the aggregation, processing, manufacturing, storing, transporting, wholesaling, or distribution of food. Examples of the types of entities that may qualify for the program include meat processors and food hubs. Lenders may provide the loans to eligible cooperatives, corporations, for-profits, nonprofits, Tribal communities, public bodies, and people in rural and urban areas.
How can funds be used?
Funds are available on a first-come, first-serve basis and may be used to:
- start-up or expand food supply chain activities such as aggregating, processing, manufacturing, storing, transporting, wholesaling, or distributing food.
- address supply chain bottlenecks.
- increase capacity and help create a more resilient, diverse, and secure U.S. food supply chain.
How do I apply?
The USDA is accepting electronic applications from lenders through the Food Supply Chain Online Application System until funds are expended. Paper applications will not be accepted.
To access the online application system, lenders must submit a request to firstname.lastname@example.org.
USDA Rural Development encourages applications for projects that advance the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, promote equitable access to USDA programs and services, and reduce the impacts of climate change on rural communities. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov/priority-points.