It’s been around six months or so since the last time this happened, but the federal government has once again approved and will start sending out a new stimulus check to a specific demographic. This time, it’s a one-time $600 payment, and it’s going to farmworkers and the US meatpacking workforce.
US Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced this pandemic relief payment a few days ago, as part of a larger $700 million effort to aid the sector. A portion of that amount, totaling up to $20 million, will go toward helping grocery store workers.
New stimulus check for farm and food chain workforce
All of these workers — who staff everything from grocery stores to farms and meatpacking plants — do their job in places where the new COVID-era transition to working from home is generally impossible. Moreover, these employers that were so critical to ensuring that many of us had the essentials we needed in order to stay home and remain safe during the pandemic? These have also been the sites of COVID-19 outbreaks around the country. Driven in part by the proximity of employees often packed in close together to do their jobs.
The just-announced $600 aid for these workers, Vilsack said on a conference call with reporters, “is a reflection of the essential nature of the work they performed in the pandemic.”
This new stimulus check also differs from similar aid distributed up this point during the pandemic. The IRS won’t be the agency sending out these new payments. Rather, they’ll come from state agencies, nonprofits, and tribal governments. Vilsack’s agency will parcel out funds to those groups to distribute. And, according to the secretary himself, his agency will prioritize funders that have a track record of responsiveness to, for example, migrant workers.
More stimulus payments
This aid, of course, comes as other stimulus checks continue rolling out. Such as those in the form of the child tax credit payments, the third of which went out on September 15. Those checks are going to a much broader group of recipients — parents with eligible children in their household.
The check on September 15 was the third of six monthly payments through December. The final three checks in this series will go out on October 15, November 15, and December 15.
In an update Thursday, the IRS said that the third batch of payments is pushing out approximately $15 billion to about 35 million US families. Those families have at least one child who falls into either of these two age brackets:
- If the child is under the age of six, the family will get a monthly stimulus check for $300. Multiplied by the number of those children, where applicable.
- If the child is between ages six and 17, the check amount will be $250.