The USDA has received billions in funding to help two groups struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic. The relief should air farmers who are losing products due to the closing of restaurants and schools and food banks fighting to keep up with expanded demand.

The Coronavirus Food Assistance Program is a $19 billion project with a three-pronged goal:

provide critical support to our farmers and ranchers, maintain the integrity of our food supply chain, and ensure every American continues to receive and have access to the food they need.

The program will provide $16 billion directly to farmers. It will cover losses caused by a lack of demand with restaurants and schools closing as well as the oversupply issues where dairy farmers were forced to dump milk. There will also be funds available to covers dropping prices and future marketing efforts.

The other 3 billion will be used to purchase food from local and regional distributors. In turn, they would provide a pre-approved box of fresh produce, dairy, and meat products to food banks, community and faith-based organizations, and other non-profits serving Americans in need. The funds would be allocated in increments of $100 million each month:

  • $100 million per month in fresh fruits and vegetables
  • $100 million per month in a variety of dairy products
  • $100 million per month in meat products.

The USDA has additional money available in a variety of programs which will be earmarked to purchase additional products for food banks and assist farmers impacted by the pandemic. They promise more details coming in a few days. You can read more on the programs at the USDA's website.