OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. — Through the state’s CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Fund, the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry received $10 million in grants for the Food Supply Stability Plan for Oklahoma meat processors. “Agriculture processing never stopped during this pandemic,” said Secretary of Agriculture, Blayne Arthur. “This grant money is an exceptional opportunity for our Oklahoma meat processing industry to add processing capacity. Changes within existing facilities, as well as adding more plants and expanding existing plants, would greatly help mitigate the effects we have seen on the food supply chain during this pandemic.” This grant funding of $10,000,000 would allow Oklahoma meat processors to build or expand their businesses and create additional meat processing capacity in Oklahoma, mitigating risks of plant shutdowns and ensuring continued meat availability. “In order to reduce Oklahoma’s dependence on the current limited processors and lessen the risk of consequences of a facility shutting down, it is pertinent for our state to bolster development of this industry through capital for new construction, expansion, and equipment to protect against spread of illness in current plants,” said Sec. Arthur. The COVID-19 pandemic has directly and adversely impacted Oklahoma’s food supply chain. From livestock harvesting and processing, to distribution, and retail availability for consumers, every aspect from farm to plate has been affected. For the first time, the current generation of Oklahomans has faced empty grocery store shelves while producers, processors, and transporters of agricultural and food products have dealt with oversupply of raw materials and been unable to get their products to market.