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It's time for USDA to maximize purchases of agricultural commodities for donation, House Ag Committee chairman says.

Compiled by staff

April 14, 2020

1 Min Read
Jacqui Fatka

House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin C. Peterson, D-Minn., is urging the USDA to maximize the purchase of agricultural commodities for donation and distribution to aid hungry Americans and struggling farmers during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

“The pictures and video of milk being dumped and fresh vegetables being plowed into the ground is unsettling to most Americans, but it is heart breaking for those farm families that produced that commodity,” said Peterson in a letter to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue. Product purchases by USDA can “help ensure that the production that no longer has a foodservice market can be made available to help our nation’s foodbanks.”

The American Farm Bureau Federation and Feeding America came together to propose a voucher program to allow farmers and food banks to work directly with one another instead of relying on third parties during the pandemic.

In his letter, Peterson urged the Trump administration to use the $9.5 billion in funding through the CARES Act, as well as the authorities of the Commodity Credit Corporation and Section 32.

“The agricultural economy was already in a fragile state from several years of adverse weather conditions and our challenging trade situation.  Despite being an essential service, our ag producers and their supply chain partners are facing the total loss of some market segments and the inability to quickly change their marketing and processing capabilities to meet the new realities,” added Peterson.

Related:AFBF, Feeding America suggest plan to fill food banks



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