President Donald Trump announced on Aug. 24 that his administration is authorizing an additional $1 billion to a food distribution program that pairs struggling producers and American families strongly impacted by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus pandemic.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) program, Farmers to Families Food Box, which first kicked off in May, ensures the delivery of billions of dollars worth of fruit, vegetables, and other farm products that might have gone to waste because of the pandemic, to food banks and nonprofits that serve the needy.
“Today I am proud to announce that we will provide an additional one billion dollars to fund the Farmers to Families Food Box program,” Trump said in North Carolina Monday during a visit to a food packing plant. “It’s worked out so well.”
“Through this program, the Department of Agriculture is purchasing food from farmers, then local distributors pack and deliver the boxes. And families in need get it, and they get to eat very well,” the president continued.
“We’re tremendously grateful for the 185 employees here at this facility who have packed roughly 7,000 boxes a week,” he said. “With your help, in just 3 months, we’ve delivered over 1 billion pounds of food, providing more than 100 million meals to Americans most in need.”
The program was formally kicked off on May 15 by White House adviser Ivanka Trump and Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue. At the time, Perdue said that prior to the outbreak of COVID-19, the disease caused by the CCP virus, America’s food supply chains operated smoothly and were taken for granted.
The program aims to quickly rescue food from struggling farmers and deliver it to those in need as fallout from the pandemic has put millions of Americans out of work and under greater strain.
It’s part of the $3 billion Coronavirus Farm Assistance Program announced on April 17, under which the USDA buys from producers and distributes to communities.
According to the USDA website, the department aims to complete the purchase of up to $2.7 billion of food under the aid program by the end of August.
The White House said in a statement Monday that under the program, more than 70 million boxes had been delivered to over 10,000 food banks and nonprofit organizations so far.
“Thousands of jobs have been saved or created—including more than 5,000 in the food distribution industry,” it said. “Distributors are now prioritizing resources to send boxes to Opportunity Zones and areas most in need by providing relief to America’s most underserved communities.”
“From day one, my administration has been determined to protect our nation’s incredible farmers,” Trump said in a statement issued by the White House.
Tom Ozimek and Reuters contributed to this report.