COVID-19 News, Health/Nutrition/Food Safety, News May 2020, North America, Trade/Markets/Prices

USDA’s ‘Farmers to Food Box’ program to ramp up next week, Trump says

The United States will purchase 3 billion dollars worth of dairy, meat and produce from farmers and ranchers starting early next week, President Donald Trump announced in a Tweet on Saturday.

“The USA will be purchasing, from our farmers, ranchers & specialty crop growers, 3 billion dollars worth of dairy, meat & produce for food lines & kitchens,” Pres Trump said in a tweet Saturday afternoon.

The U.S. president noted that the government purchase is part of the USDA “Farmers to Family Food Box,” calling it “great news for all.”

The program is part of the $2 trillion aid package passed by Congress in March and signed by Trump to support the economy during the coronavirus pandemic.

Demands for agricultural products have plummeted amid the COVID-19 outbreak, as widespread lockdowns since late March disrupted supply chains across the nation, even forcing some farmers to destroy their products that can’t be stored.

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said Friday that USDA had approved an initial $1.2 billion in contracts under the Farmers to Food Box program.

The program will procure about $100 million a month in fresh fruits and vegetables, $100 million a month in dairy products and $100 million in meat products, the USDA said on its website.

Sources: CNBC, and Bloomberg

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Lukie Pieterse, Editor and Publisher

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