The Department of Agriculture is reviewing whether and how to continue the Farmers to Families Food Box program, as the effort begins to wind down after serving a critical — but often criticized — role during the still continuing food crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The $900 billion COVID relief bill, passed in late December, is providing new funding for programs to help feed the millions of people whose jobs have been lost to the pandemic, but anti-hunger advocates say more help is needed and have already turned to Congress and the incoming Biden administration for help.
With unemployment spiking across the country as a result of the coronavirus, more and more people who never needed food assistance before are looking for help, forcing food banks, commodity groups and USDA to think creatively about how to meet the growing demand.
Farm sector exports and profits are down sharply as escalating tariffs choke off international trade. Yet one group is benefitting from the tariff wars: over 40 million food insecure Americans who struggle to buy groceries.
The House Agriculture Committee’s proposed farm bill provides a mix of new restrictions and incentives in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program that Republicans say would give beneficiaries’ new dignity by helping them find work or better-paying employment.