New fund launches to assist Oregon agricultural workers who need to self-quarantine

Oregon Worker Quarantine Fund will help slow the spread of COVID-19 by supporting the workers who keep Oregon fed

PORTLAND, Ore.—The statewide coalition that created the Oregon Worker Relief Fund announced Saturday the launch of a new source of financial assistance for agricultural workers who are self-quarantining to slow the spread of COVID-19. The Oregon Worker Quarantine Fund will provide up to two weeks of financial relief to agricultural workers age 18 and older, regardless of federal immigration status.

The Quarantine Fund is administered by the Oregon Worker Relief Coalition, working in collaboration with the State of Oregon and the Office of Governor Kate Brown. It will utilize the same universal state-wide application system as the Oregon Worker Relief Fund.

“When people working on farms or in food processing plants are exposed to COVID-19, they have few options to prevent the virus from spreading besides giving up their paycheck,” said Ramon Valdez, Director of Strategic Initiatives and Relationships at Innovation Law Lab. “The Quarantine Fund will help us contain this pandemic by taking the financial stress off of workers who keep Oregonians fed and agricultural businesses running.”

The Quarantine Fund has been designed to center the lived experience of Oregon’s agricultural workers. With an average wage of $24,200 per year, most agricultural workers report that they cannot afford to take two weeks off to Quarantine if they were in contact with COVID-19. Food packing and agriculture worksites are overrepresented in workplace outbreaks tracked by the Oregon Health Authority.

“Many in our state’s agricultural workforce are immigrants who have been left out of federal relief programs, creating additional financial stress for families,” said Reyna Lopez, Executive Director at PCUN, Oregon’s Farmworker Union. “At the same time, COVID-19 outbreaks have been more common at agricultural worksites where it is necessary for people to work close together. Open to all agricultural workers, regardless of immigration status, the Quarantine Fund fills a gap for people who are keeping the food supply-chain up and running.”

The Quarantine Fund provides up to 2 weeks of financial relief to eligible applicants, with the ability to re-apply if they need to quarantine again. The relief payments—$430 for one-week and $860 for two-weeks—are determined with the average weekly living expense factor.

Agricultural workers can apply for relief through local community-based organizations.  

Portland Metro

  • Adelante Mujeres
  • Bienestar
  • Voz Workers’ Rights Education Project
  • Causa Oregon

Oregon Coast

  • Centro de Ayuda
  • Lower Columbia Hispanic Council

Willamette Valley

  • PCUN
  • Centro Latino Americano

Eastern Oregon

  • Oregon Human Development Corporation

Central Oregon

  • Latino Community Association
  • Oregon Human Development Corporation

Columbia River Gorge

  • The Next Door, Inc

Southern Oregon

  • Unete. Center for Farm Worker Advocacy

Additional details about the Oregon Worker Quarantine Funding, including eligibility and application process, are available at and