USDA Announces $19 Billion Coronavirus Food Assistance Program

Jonathan A. Havens and Kermit J. Nash
Published April 20, 2020

On Friday, April 17, 2020, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (“USDA” or the “Department”) announced the creation of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (“CFAP”). In implementing CFAP, USDA will undertake a number of actions to assist farmers, ranchers, and consumers in response to the COVID-19 national emergency. Through CFAP, the Department will deploy $19 billion to provide critical support to qualifying farmers and ranchers to maintain the integrity of the United States’ food supply chain. The program will provide $16 billion in direct support based on actual losses for agricultural producers where prices and market supply chains have been impacted and 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. Furthermore, USDA will partner with regional and local distributors, whose workforces have been significantly impacted by the closures of many restaurants, hotels, and other food service entities, to purchase $3 billion in fresh produce, dairy, and meat. The program will start 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. The distributors and wholesalers will then provide a pre-approved box of fresh produce, dairy, and meat products to food banks, community and faith-based organizations, and other non-profits serving Americans in need. Click here to read more on this important topic.

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