More information about the plan to purchase food products under the authority of Section 32 of the Act of 1935. U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced that a total of $470 million will be used to purchase a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, meat, dairy and seafood products in the third quarter of the fiscal year 2020. The Section 32 purchases will be in addition to other purchases that had previously been announced to provide support for agricultural producers struggling with market disruptions related to COVID-19.
“President Trump has authorized USDA to support our farmers affected by this national emergency and this action to purchase food and deliver to those in need further demonstrates his unwavering support for the American people during these unprecedented times,” Secretary Perdue said in a news release. “America’s farmers and ranchers have experienced a dislocated supply chain caused by the Coronavirus. USDA is in the unique position to purchase these foods and deliver them to the hungry Americans who need it most.”
The spending plan calls for the purchase of $120 million in dairy products, $50 million in turkey products, $50 million in potatoes, and $35 million worth of strawberries. USDA will also be purchasing $30 million in pork, chicken and catfish products. A total of $25 million will be spent on the purchase of orange juice. Haddock, pollock, and redfish from the Atlantic, as well as tart cherries, and pollock from Alaska will all get purchases of $20 million. A total of $15 million will be used on the purchase of raisins and $10 for sweet potatoes. The plan also calls for spending $5 million each on asparagus, pears, and prunes.
The food that is purchased by USDA are considered “USDA Foods” and will be provided to USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service nutrition assistance programs, which includes food banks that operate The Emergency Food Assistance Program.