USDA uses CCC money for food banks, school meals

A new investment of nearly $2 billion from Commodity Credit Corp. will help fund school meals and food banks, and promote the purchase of food grown in the USA.

The Ministry of Agriculture plans to distribute the money in three directions: About $1 billion to buy food to help food banks; approximately $500 million to purchase local food from historically underserved producers and other local and regional producers; and another $500 million in supply chain assistance funds to help schools buy American-grown foods for lunch and breakfast programs.

In a statement, Foreign Affairs Minister Tom Vilsack called the initiatives “major in the fight against hunger.” The $500 million investment in school meals brings CCC’s total investment in school meals to $2.5 billion through December 2021, the USDA said.

“These programs directly connect American producers with food banks and schools, strengthening our rural economies while helping those most in need,” said Jenny Lester Moffitt, USDA’s Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs. “Working together, farmers, food banks and schools can improve our nation’s food security.”

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To distribute $1 billion in assistance to national food banks, the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service and the Food and Nutrition Service plan to “identify the foods most likely to be available for purchase and offer those foods based on the Emergency Food Assistance Formula program. The USDA plans to open orders for the program in the new fiscal year — which begins Oct. 1 — and deliver food “on an ongoing basis” through fiscal years 2023 and 2024.

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