The United States Department of Agriculture will spend US$50 million to purchase surplus potatoes caused by the pandemic, the National Potato Council (NPC) says in a release.
“Given the size of the crisis involving potatoes, this purchase is a partial down payment on the industry’s overall relief needs and more will be needed. In the short term, the announcement is very positive,” Britt Raybould, NPC president, says in the release.
The potato purchase was part of a US$470 million Section 32 food purchase announced by USDA and was the largest of all the specialty crop purchases. This purchase was in addition to previously announced ones.
According to the announcement, The Agricultural Marketing Service will purchase a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, meat, dairy and seafood products. These purchases will then be provided to USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service nutrition assistance programs, including food banks.