The Trump Administration announced a new program on Friday to help US farmers who are struggling economically because of disruptions from the pandemic.
Farmers and ranchers are having a hard time getting their goods to markets because large buyers like restaurants and college dormitories have stopped buying. Not only is the lack of markets hurting farmers financially, they are also having to dump goods like milk and produce because there are no buyers and not enough storage facilities.
The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) in response has set up the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP). The program will have $19 billion available, with $16 billion for direct payments to farmers and ranchers, and $3 billion for purchase of dairy, produce and meat. The plan “will begin with the procurement of an estimated $100 million per month in fresh fruits and vegetables, $100 million per month in a variety of dairy products, and $100 million per month in meat products.” USDA will partner with local and regional distributors to provide the food to food banks and other non-profits for those in need.
Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue said that USDA hopes to get the funds to producers by the end of May.
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