On Friday evening, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced $19 billion in aid will be distributed to farmers and ranchers who were hit hard by the coronavirus.
These funds from the Commodity Credit Corporation and coronavirus funding will be dispersed to support farmers and ranchers.
The first $16 billion of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program will be distributed directly to farmers and ranchers.
“This program is open to farmers and ranchers regardless of size,” Perdue said during a news conference.
The remainder of the aid, $3 billion, will go toward buying fruits, vegetables, meat and dairy products. The government will pay farmers for their products and then redistribute the products to food banks, and other community and faith-based organizations that service those in need.
The USDA will use both public and private sector organizations to procure and distribute the food. The food will be placed in boxes, as food banks are lacking volunteers at this time.
“It’s going to be a logistical Rubik’s cube,” Perdue said.
“Our farmers and ranchers were some of the first to experience the pain of this global pandemic and I am proud of the work Secretary Perdue and Pres. Trump have done to provide assistance while weathering these uncertain times and market conditions,” said U.S. Rep. Roger Marshall, R-Kan. “We must continue to support our farmers and ranchers who are able to support consumers and keep Americans fed.”
By buying food from the producer, the producer gets paid and the charities get much-needed supplies.
"COVID-19 has impacted all aspects of our American way of life, but the farmers and ranchers in Kansas have continued serving our country by providing quality, safe food for our tables," said Rep. Ron Estes, R-Kan. "The announcement of the new Coronavirus Food Assistance Program is welcome news to the hardworking ag producers in our state.“