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President Joe Biden has decided to end pandemic food aid — The Farmers to Families Food Box — that Trump’s administration put into motion. The President of the United States made this announcement on April 14, 2021. The program will not continue on May 1st.
In May 2020, former President Donald Trump enacted a program to help feed out-of-work Americans. The Farmers to Families Food Box program allowed the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to purchase $3 billion worth of meat, vegetables, dairy, and fruit products.
The USDA would then work with distributors — like Good Shepard — to fill boxes with the food and out to families who are in need. The first round of Farmers to Families Food Box started to be distributed on May 15, 2020, and ended on June 30th.
In the first round, the USDA invoiced 35.7 million food boxes. According to the USDA’s website, by April 30, 2021, they will have filled 138.3 million food boxes. To fill all these boxes the government hired hundreds of private companies to purchase food no longer needed by cruise ships, restaurants, and schools. The food would then be distributed to overwhelmed food banks.
According to Reuters, the program faced uneven distribution, high costs, or spilled and spoiled food. Biden’s administration decided to stop the program after reviewing the data from 2020. President Biden and his administration also discovered some companies may have overcharged the USDA for their products.
USDA Communications Director Matt Herrick believes the Biden administration’s assessment of the Farmer to Families Food Box program uncovered problems in how the food aid was delivered. He added, “A lot of rural communities went unserved entirely.”
Biden’s decision has had mixed reviews on social media. Some people on Twitter refer to the President and his administration as a “communist party.” Accusing Biden of caring for “everyone and every country except poor American’s.”
One person tweeted, “Any business/deal trump is involved with falls apart eventually.” Other’s believe Biden’s decision is smart especially if the USDA was being overcharged. No one wants to pay more than they should have for a product.
Written by Sheena Robertson
Reuters: Biden to cancel Trump’s pandemic food aid after high costs, delivery problems; by Christopher Walljasper
News Center Maine: Maine not included in Farmers to Families Food Box Program; Lindsey Mills
USDA: Farmers to Families Food Box
Featured and Top Image Courtesy of Gage Skidmore’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License