WASHINGTON (WJW) — President Trump says the federal government will be buying $3 billion worth of dairy, meat and produce from American farmers impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak.
Trump took to Twitter Saturday afternoon saying that early this upcoming week the government will buying products from farmers, ranchers and specialty crop growers.
He says the spending, which is at his order, is for food lines and kitchens. He also specifically mentioned the Department of Agriculture’s Farmers to Families Food Box program.
Trump’s announcement came just one day after the Agriculture Department approved $1.2 billion in contracts to producers through the food box program.
The USDA released the following statement on the decision:
“This is a new, innovative approach to provide critical support to American farmers and families, and USDA moved as expeditiously as federal procurement rules allow to stand up the program and solicit offers,” said U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue. “We were pleased to see the abundance of interest from both food distributors and non-profit organizations. 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 box program is part of the $19 billion Coronavirus Farm Assistance Program that Trump and Perdue announced last month.
Many farmers have been hard hit by the pandemic. Dairy farmers have been dumping milk down the drain because of a lack of demand and grocery chains have begun limiting purchase quantities on meat because of strain on the nation’s food supply.