Senator Debbie Stabenow, the incoming Senate Agriculture Committee chair, this week urged the Department of Agriculture to implement the bipartisan worker protection provisions in the COVID-19 assistance package. 

The Michigan Democrat says, “In order to repair our food supply and feed families in need, USDA must prioritize safety in addition to food purchases.” 

In the recently passed COVID-19 assistance package, Congress provided no less than $1.5 billion to fund food purchases for distribution to those in need, provide worker protection measures, and retooling support for farmers, farmers markets, and food processors. 

The provision was inspired by Stabenow’s bipartisan Food Supply Protection Act to help protect the food supply after the COVID-19 crisis put an unprecedented strain on farmers, workers and food banks. 

USDA recently announced funding for food purchases through the Farmers to Families Food Box program, but has yet to commit additional funds to protect workers and ensure the continuity of the food supply chain.

(Story Courtesy of the NAFB News Service)