Rep. Austin Scott: USDA Announces Start of Coronavirus Food Assistance Program
TIFTON, GA – Congressman Austin Scott (GA-08) released the below statement upon U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announcing the details of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP). This $19 billion immediate relief program created at the direction of President Trump will provide direct support to agricultural producers as well as the Farmers to Families Food Box Program. Producers can apply for assistance beginning on May 26, 2020. Additional information and application forms can be found at www.farmers.gov/cfap.
“As we continue to work through the impacts of the coronavirus, it is important to remember that ensuring the stability of our food supply chain and supporting Americans in need remain critical priorities. I’d encourage farmers whose operations were negatively impacted by the coronavirus to apply for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program, which opens applications on May 26. More information can be found at www.farmers.gov/cfap. Farmers can rest assured that President Trump and Secretary Perdue are continuing to work on their behalf during this difficult time,” said Rep. Austin Scott.
CFAP will use the funding and authorities provided in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES), the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), and other USDA existing authorities. The program includes two major elements to achieve these goals:
- Direct Support to Farmers and Ranchers: The program will provide $16 billion in direct support for eligible producers who have suffered a five percent-or-greater price decline or who had losses due to market supply chain disruptions due to COVID-19 and face additional significant market costs.
- Farmers to Families Food Box Program: USDA will partner with regional and local distributors, whose workforce has been significantly impacted by the closure of many restaurants, hotels, and other food service entities, to purchase $3 billion in fresh produce, dairy, and meat. The program will purchase $461 million in fresh fruits and vegetables, $317 million in a variety of dairy products, $258 million in meat products, and $175 million in a combination box of fresh produce, dairy, or meat products. Suppliers will package these products totaling $1.2 billion into family-sized boxes, then transport them to food banks, community and faith-based organizations, and other non-profits serving Americans in need through June 30, 2020. AMS may elect to extend the period of performance of the contracts, via option periods, dependent upon program success and available remaining funds, up to $3 billion. More information is available at www.usda.gov/farmers-to-families.
For more information on USDA’s work during the COVID-19 pandemic and resources available, please visit www.usda.gov/coronavirus.