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Meat, farm workers to get $600 grants in new $700M aid plan

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OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — The U.S. Department of Agriculture says workers on farms and at meatpacking plants who were severely affected by the coronavirus pandemic will be eligible to get grants of up to $600 per person as part of a new $700 million aid program.

The grants announced Tuesday are intended to defray some of the costs workers bore as many of them bought their own protective equipment or took unpaid leave as the virus tore through their industries, even as they were required to keep showing up for work.

The United Food and Commercial Workers union estimates that at least 132 meatpacking workers died of COVID-19 and at least 22,000 workers have been infected or exposed to the virus.

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