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USDA Announces Coronavirus Food Assistance Program

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program Friday evening. 

The $19 billion relief program will provide support to farmers and ranchers, and the food supply chain, to ensure “every American continues to receive and have access to the food they need.” 

CFAP will use the funding and authorities provided in the CARES Act, among other funding streams. 

The program includes $16 billion in direct support based on actual losses for farmers and ranchers. 

The program will assist producers with additional adjustment and marketing costs resulting from lost demand and short-term oversupply for the 2020 marketing year. 

USDA will also partner with regional and local distributors, whose workforce has been significantly impacted by the closure of food service businesses, to purchase $3 billion in fresh produce, dairy and meat. 

USDA will begin 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 relief package does not include biofuels, a sector facing plant shutdowns amid low fuel demand. 

Further details regarding eligibility, rates and other implementation will be released at a later date by USDA.


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