New legislation introduced in the Senate addresses disruptions in the food supply chain caused by the coronavirus pandemic and directly connect farms to food banks.
The bill was introduced this week by Senator Kristen Gillibrand, a Democrat from New York, who also sits on the Senate Agriculture Committee.
As foodservice entities cease operations to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, reports have emerged that millions of pounds of produce have been left to rot.
Meanwhile, food banks across the country are facing unprecedented demand, as millions of newly unemployed Americans now face food insecurity.
Senator Gillibrand’s proposed Food Bank Access to Farm Fresh Produce Act would provide $8 billion in block grants to food banks in the top vegetable and fruit producing states.
Food banks will be able to use the funds to purchase fresh produce directly from farmers.
They will also be able to use the funding to pay for distribution, processing, and additional staff needed to meet increased demand.