USDA prepares more disaster and pandemic aid
Two USDA programs will dispense aid based on a farmer's revenue losses from natural disasters or the pandemic, said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on Tuesday. "These new programs apply a holistic approach to emergency assistance — an approach not focused on any one disaster event or commodity but rather one focused on filling gaps in assistance for agricultural producers who have, over the past few years, suffered losses from natural disasters and the pandemic.”
After a decade of decline, WIC participation rose during pandemic
The number of children participating in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) increased by 8.7 percent during the first two years of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a report released on Wednesday by the Food Research & Action Center.
Food insecurity held steady overall in 2021, but decreased among families with children
About one in 10 American households was food insecure at some point in 2021, according to USDA data released on Wednesday — a slight, but not significant, decline from 2020 and 2019, when the rate was 10.5 percent. Food security among families with children improved in 2021, with 12.5 percent of households with kids food insecure, down from 14.8 percent in 2020.
‘Spot market’ program aims pandemic aid at hog farmers
The government will send up to $50 million to hog farmers who were forced to sell hogs at pandemic-depressed prices on the spot market during the summer of 2020, said the Agriculture Department on Monday. The announcement came a month after the USDA said it was disbursing $270 million to contract growers of hogs and poultry through its Pandemic Assistance for Producers initiative.
Vilsack says USDA and White House close to deal on biofuel aid
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said the administration appeared "very close" to releasing a long-promised $700 million in pandemic aid to biofuel producers. The aid was announced in March as part of a remodeling of coronavirus relief programs by the incoming administration.
Pandemic aid to farmers at $7 billion as USDA pro-rates timber payments
The USDA will pro-rate its final round of pandemic payments to timber harvesters and haulers to stay within the $200 million limit for the aid program, officials said on Thursday. Meanwhile, USDA data showed disbursements of $6.98 billion in coronavirus relief to farmers and ranchers this year.
New pandemic aid program encourages dairy donations to food banks
To reduce food waste and help feed hungry Americans, the USDA will spend an estimated $400 million to reimburse dairy organizations for donating products to food banks, said Deputy Agriculture Secretary Jewel Bronaugh on Wednesday. The donation program was the second component of pandemic relief to dairy farmers that would total $2 billion this year.
Dairy farmers to get pandemic payments due to market volatility
In an expansion of its pandemic portfolio, the Biden administration said it would pay an estimated $350 million to dairy farmers to offset lower milk prices caused by market abnormalities during the second half of 2020. The payments will benefit farms with smaller herds the most.
USDA tops $7 billion in pandemic aid in four months
With Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack’s announcement of coronavirus aid to logging and timber hauling businesses, the USDA will near $7.4 billion in allotments of pandemic assistance since the Biden administration put its mark on the relief programs. The aid ranges from “top …