USDA is heading into the second round of its Farmers to Families Food Box program, a major part of the Trump administration’s effort to address the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the food supply chain and hungry Americans.
Following a stellar last week of April, fresh produce sales remained highly elevated during the first week of May. That’s according to an analysis by 210 Analytics, IRI and the Produce Marketing Association.
Stung by scenes of farmers dumping milk and plowing under crops, the Trump administration is launching a never-before-tried plan to use the nation’s commercial food distributors to buy fresh produce, dairy products and meat and give them away to needy families across the country.
COVID-19 forced most people to start eating most meals at home and away from restaurants and food service institutions. Now, food companies of all sizes are trying to adapt to selling food in new ways.
Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue says USDA wants to provide relief from the COVID-19 crisis to eligible farm sectors “sooner rather than later,” but the department will have to wait until this summer at the earliest to distribute an additional $14 billion in aid.
Produce industry groups are asking the Agriculture Department for up to $5 billion in payments to compensate growers and dealers for losses they suffered when restaurants, schools and colleges suddenly closed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
A massive economic stimulus bill that congressional leaders are rushing to finish could allow the Agriculture Department to provide multiple forms of aid to different sectors hit by the coronavirus epidemic as well as a fresh round of Market Facilitation Program payments, a key senator says.