Biden canceling Trump’s COVID food relief program

USDA Farmers to Families Food Box took fresh produce, dairy and meat unneeded by companies and gave it to food banks.

Dan Verbin ,

Joe Biden
Joe Biden
Reuters

The Biden administration has announced that it will be cancelling former President Donald Trump’s USDA Farmers to Families Food Box, a pandemic program which worked with farmers, farm associations and food distributors to purchase unneeded food that would otherwise be thrown away, including fresh produce, dairy and meat, to give to nonprofit organizations such as food banks and shelters.

Last spring the US government hired hundreds of private companies to buy up food no longer needed by restaurants, schools, cruise ships and other companies and deliver it to food banks. However, the $4 billion program faced high costs and some of the food spoiled, according to Reuters. There were also issues with some of the contractors.

Upon a program review, the Biden administration decided to cancel the program after May, USDA communications director Matt Herrick said in an interview with Reuters.

The USDA will instead focus on expanding food stamps and increasing the budgets of its other existing food distribution programs.

Greg Ibach, who was the USDA undersecretary for marketing and regulatory programs for the Trump White House, was one of the designers of the program. He said that the Farmers to Families Food Box, which was designed in only one month, worked as well as other agency programs that took years to come to fruition.

“We got a lot of food out the door and in peoples’ hands,” he said.



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