USDA will be spending up to $558,815,000 throughout the fiscal year on pork purchases under the Food Purchase and Distribution Program to help farmers impacted by unfair trade practices. Although USDA regularly buys food for a number of uses, the extra purchases this fiscal year will be substantial, said Greg Ibach, USDA Under Secretary.
“USDA staff are ready to help farmers and ranchers understand the procurement process to ensure American farmers have the opportunity to find some relief while the Administration works to level the playing field for American products in international markets,” Ibach said.
In addition to pork, commodities including apples, blueberries, cranberry products, dried plums and grapes will also be purchased as part of this program. USDA began issuing solicitations for the purchases in early October and expect to purchase other products throughout 2019, said a USDA press release.
These commodities will be distributed through the Food and Nutrition Service’s safety net of nutrition assistance programs. The majority of the foods will be provided to states for use in the network of food banks and food pantries that participate in The Emergency Food Assistance Program.
Since 1935, USDA has directly purchased farm goods under Section 32 of the Agricultural Adjustment Act Amendment to encourage consumption of domestic agricultural products. AMS and the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) work closely to determine need and distribute products as needed.
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