US Government to purchase $3billion worth of farm goods
The government of the United States will be purchasing $3-billion worth of dairy, meat and produce from farmers as unemployment soars in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The order was issued by President Donald Trump on Saturday .
“Starting early next week, at my order, the USA will be purchasing, from our Farmers, Ranchers & Specialty Crop Growers, 3 Billion Dollars worth of Dairy, Meat & Produce for Food Lines & Kitchens,” the President said in a post on Twitter.
The U.S. economy lost a staggering 20.5 million jobs in April and the unemployment rate rose to 14.7%, government data showed on Friday.
Food banks have been running short on staples as hunger soars.
The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted supply chains, with farmers saying they have had to destroy their produce and euthanize pigs because processing facilities have shuttered.
On Friday, the Agriculture Department approved $1.2 billion in contracts to producers through the food box program.
"We were pleased to see the abundance of interest from both food distributors and non-profit organizations," said Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said in a statement on the contracts.
"Within days, the Farmers to Families Food Box Program will begin distributing surplus food, while safeguarding food safety techniques, to communities across the country where it’s needed most."
The food boxes are part of the $19 billion Coronavirus Farm Assistance Program that the president and Perdue announced last month.