Helping farmers and the hungry
Perfect synergy. Bringing Food to the Needy and Helping Farmers at the Same Time
It started way back in the depression: “An emergency surplus removal program to purchase those surpluses and give those food products to the needy around the country.” And Dave Tuckwiller with USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service now over 85 years later: “That program is still in existence where we do take the surpluses off the market and we're feeding hungry people across America.”
And Dave helps to run the commodity procurement program which has expanded its scope from just trying to support farmers and farm product prices by removing surplus products from the market. The National School Lunch Program.
“And we began purchasing commodities not just for emergency surplus but to meet the needs of schools across the country.”
And that continues today as well but it's not limited to buying surplus products anymore. Now the USDA buys all kinds of foods for all kinds of uses.
“Typically we spend about three billion dollars a year on food products. About 2.38 billion of that is for the domestic programs the National School Lunch Program, the food banks, Indian tribal organizations and a few elderly programs. The other 700 million are for international food aid programs.”