USDA announces $470M plan to cut back on food waste, keep food banks stocked nationwide

In this Wednesday, April 29, 2020 photo, workers prepare to handout food at the Ford Resource and Engagement Center in southwest Detroit. (Sam VarnHagen/Ford Motor Company via AP)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 1:05 PM PT — Friday, May 8, 2020

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is taking new steps to make sure no food is wasted and food banks stay stocked. This week, the agency announced a $470 million plan to buy a surplus of food, which will be distributed to communities in need nationwide.

Food banks are being overwhelmed across the U.S. amid the pandemic, with millions of Americans out of work and going hungry.

“I know everyone was worried about not catching this respiratory virus, but I’m sitting here going, ‘Okay, a lot of people have been removed from their daily routines,’” stated one resident. “They’ve lost their paychecks, they can’t feed their families.”

The products being purchased were all grown here in the United States. The agency’s power, which it’s had since 1935, will allow it to help out farmers with an excess of food and, in turn, deliver it to those in need.

Volunteer Susan Dennis-ton moves a bin of food at Roadrunner Food Bank in Albuquerque, New Mexico, on Thursday, May 7, 2020, so it can be sorted, repackaged and distributed to food pantries through the region. (AP Photo/Susan Montoya Bryan)

Dairy farmers in particular have been hit hard amid the coronavirus pandemic. In many cases, they’ve been forced to dump large quantities of milk down the drain. However, some have said hope may now be on the horizon.

The USDA recently confirmed it is planning to purchase nearly $5 billion worth of American-grown agricultural products for the remainder of the fiscal year.

This isn’t the first time the agency has stepped in this year. Back in April, the department announced a $300 million initiative to package and ship goods off to food banks in need.

Those shipments will most likely be seen in the coming weeks. As for the latest round of purchases, deliveries are expected to begin in July.

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