Secretary Naig: USDA Coronavirus Food Assistance Program Offers Much Needed Support for Ag Community
DES MOINES, Iowa (May 19, 2020) – Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig issued the following statement in response to the USDA’s Coronavirus Food Assistance Program announcement today.
“COVID-19 has disrupted the entire food supply chain and the agriculture community is hurting,” said Secretary Naig. “We are grateful to the Trump administration and the USDA for acting quickly and providing some immediate financial relief to crop and livestock producers. There’s still more work to do to help egg and ethanol producers, and to help livestock producers who are facing the impossible decision to euthanize animals due to supply chain and processing plant disruptions.”
The Coronavirus Food Assistance Program includes direct support payments to farmers and the USDA Food Box program.
The direct support program will provide $16 billion to agricultural producers based on actual losses where prices and market supply chains have been impacted. It will assist producers with additional adjustment and marketing costs resulting from lost demand and short-term oversupply for the 2020 marketing year caused by COVID-19, according to USDA.
USDA AMS is partnering with national, regional, and local suppliers, whose workforce has been significantly impacted by the closure of restaurants, hotels, and other foodservice businesses, to purchase up to $3 billion in fresh produce, dairy and meat products.
Suppliers will package these products totaling $1.2 billion into family-sized boxes, then transport them to food banks, community and faith-based organizations, and other non-profits serving Americans in need.
Two Iowa companies, W&G Marketing in Ames and Capital City Fruit Co. in Norwalk, were selected as suppliers for the Food Box program.