With the economy on the decline and the unemployment rate sitting at 14.7 percent, it goes without saying that families and small businesses are struggling to make ends meet.
On Friday, White House adviser Ivanka Trump and Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue teamed up to launch a $3 billion initiative to benefit small farms, ranches and those in need.
The “Farmers to Families Food Box” program, part of the $2.2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, will feed hungry families and prevent farmers and ranchers from wasting goods.
Thanks to American farmers and local, regional and national food suppliers, American families will have access to 100% American-grown fresh produce, meat and dairy products. https://t.co/lZ0x5Cww3o pic.twitter.com/7zicTBSCEy
— Sec. Sonny Perdue (@SecretarySonny) May 12, 2020
The U.S. Department of Agriculture is permitted under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act to purchase up to $3 billion worth of agricultural goods for distribution to food banks, church groups and nonprofits around the country.
This effort will ensure that food raised and grown specifically for the restaurant industry won’t go to waste and that small farmers and ranchers are still being supported.
“Small businesses are the backbone of America’s economy,” Ivanka told FOX Business.
“Whether it be through the massively successful PPP program, including small agricultural businesses in EIDL, or by awarding up to [$3 billion] to small, regional farmers, ranchers and distributors through the Farmers to Families Food Box program, this administration will continue to implement innovative and impactful policies to bolster American workers, families and small business owners.”
Trump and Perdue toured a Coastal Sunbelt Produce warehouse in Maryland, one of the participating distributors, on Friday as a part of the “Farmers to Families Food Box” launch.
The two witnessed first hand what was being done there to support struggling American businesses and families who may not otherwise know where they’d get their next meal.
Farmers feed America! ??
The $3 Billion Farmers to Families Food Box Program launched today will ensure that food that might have gone to waste will now go to those in need!
Fresh produce/meat ? will be packed into boxes ? & delivered to food banks + non profits nationwide ?? pic.twitter.com/m7Y792BNUg
— Ivanka Trump (@IvankaTrump) May 15, 2020
According to The Associated Press, this initiative has been beneficial not only to farmers, ranchers and hungry families, but also to the distribution company, whom Trump said was able to bring back 50 furloughed employees to help prepare the food boxes.
The organization plans to deliver 35,000 boxes each week through the end of June, each filled with fresh food like meat and dairy products, potatoes, tomatoes and bell peppers.
Thank you to our Farmers to Families Food Box suppliers hard at work procuring food & moving it safely to communities in need.
— USDA Ag Mktg Service (@USDA_AMS) May 15, 2020
The first daughter told USA Today that the program “really creates a virtuous cycle” for “the most vulnerable in these challenging times”
“I’m not shy about asking people to step up to the plate. The whole country needs to be galvanized in the effort, both to combat this deadly virus, but also to rebuild … to rebuild our economy as we emerge,” she added.
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