USDA invests $2 billion in food banks and school meal programs

Food bank/food shelter. Volunteer handing over bowl of hot food to person in canteen
© Todsaporn Bunmuen

The U.S. Department of Agriculture will provide nearly $2 billion in additional funding to food banks and school meal programs for purchasing American-grown foods

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is providing $2 billion worth of additional support to food banks and school meal programs in the U.S. amidst supply chain challenges and elevated food costs.

The U.S. government is committed to supporting these organisations to carry out their mission of providing nutritious foods to kids and families in need.

How will the funding help food banks and school meal programs?

The funds, provided via USDA’s Commodity Credit Corporation will be used in three ways:

  • Almost $1 billion will be used to purchase food for emergency food providers like food banks
  • Nearly $500 million to expand the Local Food Purchase Assistance cooperative agreement program, through which 49 states, 33 tribes, and four territories are already working to purchase local foods for their emergency food systems
  • Roughly $500 million given to schools across the country to purchase food for their lunch and breakfast programs

This brings the total CCC investment in school food since December 2021 to close to $2.5 billion. In other words, around 30 million students who participate in school lunch and 15 million who participate in school breakfast each day have benefitted from this scheme.

Girl eating school lunch
© Monkey Business Images

Biden-Harris Administration and USDA’s commitment against food poverty

“Funding these initiatives is paramount in the fight against hunger, and further demonstrates the Biden-Harris Administration and USDA’s commitment to strengthen food and nutrition security,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.

“We must ensure Americans have access to safe, healthy, affordable food for longevity and optimal health.”

The investment in food banks and school lunches is part of the Department’s broader commitment to strengthening the supply chain and making nutritious food more accessible for families.

Food banks and schools are the backbone of our nutrition safety net

“Food banks and schools are the backbone of our nutrition safety net, serving tens of millions of children and families,” added Stacy Dean, Deputy Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services.

“The Biden Administration understands that supply chain disruptions and high food costs have created uncertainties for these crucial partners, and we are committed to equipping them with the resources they need to keep communities fed, strong, and healthy.”

Under Secretary of Marketing and Regulatory Programs, Jenny Lester Moffitt concluded: “These programs directly connect American producers with food banks and schools, strengthening our rural economies while helping those most in need.

“As part of the Biden Administration’s commitment to transforming our nation’s food system, USDA is dedicated to fostering partnerships between producers and food assistance programs. Working together, farmers, food banks, and schools, can improve our nation’s food and nutrition security.”



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