March 18, 2021 –
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Office of Tribal Relations (OTR) and Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) seeks comments on the development, coordination, and implementation of a food purchase and distribution program intended to provide additional aid to nonprofits serving Americans in need of nutrition assistance. If implemented, the program will serve as a successor to the temporary food box purchase program created in April 2020 in response to the rapidly developing crisis within the food supply chain and increased joblessness due to COVID19. While the food box effort served some communities well, it faced challenges in others.
Written Comments: Written comments can be submitted through midnight ET on March 31, 2021, via online portal or by email to AMSCOVIDStimulus@usda.gov or Tribal.Relations@usda.gov. We welcome feedback from all interested parties, and we appreciate early response.
For More Information: Additional information is available on the AMS website: https://www.ams.usda.gov/services/ams-covid-stimulus Questions regarding the listening session can be directed to AMSCOVIDStimulus@usda.gov or Tribal.Relations@usda.gov. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication (Braille, large print, audio tape, etc.) should contact the USDA Target Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TDD).
Statutory Background: Sec. 751 of the COVID Stimulus Package, part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, provides no less than $1.5B to purchase food and agricultural products, including seafood, fresh produce, dairy, and meat products, to distribute to individuals in need, including through delivery to nonprofit organizations that can receive, store, and distribute food items, and for grants and loans to small or midsized food processors or distributors, seafood processing facilities and processing vessels, farmers markets, producers, or other organizations to respond to coronavirus, including for measures to protect workers against COVID–19.