USDA Announces Coronavirus Food Assistance Program

USDA’s new Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) will take several actions to assist farmers, ranchers, and consumers in response to the COVID-19 national emergency. 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 and USDA Purchase and Distribution. The direct support program will provide $16 billion based on actual losses for agricultural producers where prices and market supply chains have been impacted and will assist producers with additional adjustment and marketing costs resulting from lost demand and short-term oversupply for the 2020 marketing year caused by COVID-19. For purchases, USDA will partner with regional and local distributors to purchase $3 billion in fresh produce, dairy, and meat. Distributors and wholesalers will then provide a pre-approved box of fresh produce, dairy, and meat products to food banks, community, and faith-based organizations.