Report finds Trump’s food box suffered from price gouging, poor-quality
The Farmers to Families Food Box giveaway program was the Trump administration's answer to hunger during the pandemic but it undermined its goal by mismanagement and abuse of the $5.5 billion program, said a report released by the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis on Wednesday. The panel chairman, Democrat James Clyburn, suggested the USDA should pursue reimbursement, where appropriate, of misspent money.
Booker backs a food box program for fruits and vegetables
Sen. Cory Booker, the new chairman of the Senate nutrition subcommittee called for a permanent food box program to deliver fresh fruits and vegetables to communities "in desperate need for healthy produce." Booker also said $20 billion a year should be devoted to USDA climate mitigation programs and that a moratorium should be imposed on mergers in the agricultural sector.(No paywall)
USDA donations of produce and dairy to replace Trump food box
The Trump administration's much-criticized food box will be replaced for the moment by a $400 million dairy donation initiative and fresh produce distributed through a longstanding USDA program, said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on Wednesday.
Food box should be a model for USDA, not scrapped, say GOP lawmakers
The USDA ought to keep President Trump's glitzy food box giveaway program in operation rather than let it die at the end of April, said Republicans on the House Agriculture Committee on Thursday. A food bank leader said that while the food box had been helpful in responding to pandemic-caused hunger, it was not as useful as programs like SNAP.
Tackle hunger and diet quality at the same time, says Vilsack
U.S. anti-hunger programs should address the twin challenges of nutrition — supplying enough food and encouraging diets built around healthy food — at the same time after decades of focusing on a lack of food for poor Americans, said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on Wednesday.
USDA’s food box give-away called a model that can be improved
The Farmers to Families Food Box Program, the Trump administration’s response to hunger during the pandemic, “has accomplished much and can serve as a model for future USDA fresh food purchasing and distribution efforts,” said a review of the program on Tuesday. The report made eight …
Trump administration revives the food-box giveaway
The Trump administration will spend $1.5 billion on a fifth round of the Farmers to Families Food Box Program, drawing on money from the latest coronavirus relief package, said the USDA on Monday. It was the first use by the USDA of $13 billion in the package for public nutrition programs. The …
Anti-hunger advocates expect Biden administration to bolster safety net
Anti-hunger advocates are celebrating the outcome of the presidential election, which they say creates a new opportunity to push back against escalating food insecurity in the United States — and they have plenty of ideas for what needs to be done. (No paywall)
USDA extends food-box giveaway through Dec. 31
The Trump administration put an additional $500 million into the Farmers to Families Food Box, allowing the stopgap hunger-relief program will run through the end of the year. More than 110 million of the boxes have been delivered but the program has faced charges of inequitable distribution of aid.
Perdue sitting on food box details, say House Democrats
The USDA’s food-box giveaway program has been the Trump administration’s answer to hunger during the pandemic but officials have failed to answer questions about alleged shortcomings and political machinations of the $4 billion program, said Democrats on the House Agriculture subcommittee on …
Perdue violated rules against politicking on the job, says ethics agency
Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue violated a 1939 law against politicking on the job when he urged the re-election of President Trump at a produce packing house in North Carolina on Aug. 24 and must reimburse the government "for the costs associated with his political activity," said the U.S. Office of Special Counsel on Thursday.
Religion comes with the USDA food box
Some faith-based groups taking part in USDA’s Farmers to Families Food Box giveaway, the Trump administration’s answer to hunger during the pandemic, are mixing religion with their taxpayer-financed charity work, reported The Counter on Tuesday. The groups include letters saying the food is a …
Perdue unwilling to use SNAP to fullest during pandemic, says think tank
Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue shows more enthusiasm for cutting SNAP enrollment than in making full use of food stamps to alleviate hunger during the pandemic, said the think tank Center for American Progress (CAP) on Thursday. SNAP enrollment has rocketed to 43 million, the highest level since October 2017, and estimates of food insecurity have tripled because of the coronavirus.
USDA creates a food gap in P-EBT, say House Democrats
Congress created the P-EBT program early this year to help low-income parents buy food for their school-age children during coronavirus closures. Two high-ranking House Democrats said on Thursday the USDA would cut off benefits to students at schools that begin classes later than usual because of the pandemic.
Perdue violated anti-politicking law, says ethics complaint
Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue solicited votes for President Trump in violation of the 1939 federal law that bars partisan activity by federal officials while on the job, said a complaint filed by a good-government group. The complaint cites Perdue's comments at a produce packing shed in North Carolina, where Trump announced a $1-billion extension of the administration's food-box giveaway program.
Trump boosts food-box funding by $1 billion
Hours after he was nominated for a second term, President Trump announced at a produce packing house in North Carolina an additional $1 billion on Monday for the food-box giveaway program that is his administration's answer to hunger during the pandemic. Nearly 71 million boxes of food have been delivered since the program began on May 15 but critics question if it is a fair and efficient way to help families.
Four months after ‘Trump postcard,’ the Trump food box letter
Four dozen House Democrats warned the USDA against using its food box donation program "to distribute a self-promoting letter from the president" ahead of the Nov. 3 election, criticizing the idea as a political use of federal resources.
Lax rules, little accountability in Trump food-box giveaway, say House Democrats
The Farmers to Families Food Box giveaway program, the Trump administration’s response to hunger during the coronavirus pandemic, went into operation without a formula to assure aid was distributed fairly across the country, said the USDA official overseeing the program on Tuesday. While …