CORONAVIRUS: USDA approves over $400 million in section 32 food purchases Featured

CORONAVIRUS: USDA approves over $400 million in section 32 food purchases USDA Courtesy Graphic

The United States Department of Agriculture has announced plans to aid ag producers and Americans alike through surplus food purchases in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

US Secretary for Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced the plans early last week for $470 million worth of section 32 food purchase which will occur in the third quarter of this year. The new purchases come in addition to previously announced plans and will allow the USDA to purchase surplus food for distribution across the country to assist producers and Americans in need due to shifts in market conditions brought about by the coronavirus pandemic.

Through the plan, a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, meat, dairy and seafood products will be purchased by the Agricultural Marketing Service with purchases being determined by industry requests, market analysis and food bank needs. Additionally, the USDA plans to utilize separate funds for additional purchases in response to disruptions to the food supply chain.

These funds include the Farmers to Families Food Box Program, The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) and the Support Program for Farmers. The combined total in funds available from each program comes out to roughly $4.89 billion available for additional purchases.

The AMS plans to begin purchases in June and start the delivery process in July. Future purchases using Section 32 funds, including potential plans for the fourth quarter of this year, will be assessed on an ongoing basis.

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