Because the COVID-19 pandemic has made it difficult for growers and ranchers to sell their supply, waste is accumulating and financial challenges are mounting for the people who work hard to put food on our tables.
The negative externalities extend further too, as the shutdowns of major meat packers (and other factory settings) have caused food shortages at the grocer level.
On Friday, President Trump announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture would pledge $19 billion in a farm aid program to help tackle these challenges. The program will include $16 billion in direct payments and partnerships with distributors that entail purchasing fresh produce, dairy and meat with the remaining $3 billion.
By helping farmers at the grassroots level and working together with distributors, the USDA hopes to galvanize agribusiness and make sure that people get the food they need during these unusual times.