Produce suppliers are looking for federal assistance, as many industry sectors seek relief from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak.
The United Fresh Produce Association, representing the fresh produce supply chain, has requested urgent action by Congress to mitigate the challenges facing the sectors that have been impacted most severely.
The immediate impact felt by the fresh produce supply chain is $5 billion for exposure for lost inventory and risk to growers, $1 billion a week in lost sales, and tens of thousands employee furloughed, according to the organization.
Those recommendations include the establishment of a $1 billion fund, to address claims filed by foodservice distributors who have outstanding expenditures to grower-shippers.
However, the group says the need may skyrocket to $5 billion.
The group also requests USDA immediately make an additional $1 billion available to help meet the needs of schools and all emergency feeding sites.
Finally, they request the federal government provide $225 million funding for the Supplemental Nutrition for Women, Infants, and Children to accommodate a temporary increase to the cash-value voucher benefits.