The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Tuesday announced that it has purchased more than $2.2 billion of meat, fruits, vegetables, specialty crops and dairy products in fiscal years 2019 and 2020 in its ongoing efforts to feed people in need and assist American farmers and ranchers suffering from damage due to unjustified trade retaliation by foreign nations.
USDA is on target to reach its fiscal year goal of about $1.4 billion of trade mitigation purchases in the next phase of fiscal year purchasing, which ends Sept. 30. The purchases were made through the Food Purchase and Distribution Program (FPDP), one of USDA’s three programs in its Support Packages for Farmers.
Most of the food purchased is provided to states for distribution to nutrition assistance programs such as The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) and child nutrition programs.
“Over the past two years, USDA has issued more than $2 billion in payments to American farmers, ranchers, and producers for U.S.-grown food that is used to help Americans in need,” said U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue. “Early on, President Trump instructed USDA to make sure our farmers did not bear the brunt of unfair retaliatory tariffs. Our farmers work hard, and are the most productive in the world, and we crafted the FPDP to help protect them. The FPDP represents just one of the many ways USDA is working hard to fulfill its mission to do right and feed everyone.”