Chairwoman Stabenow Applauds USDA’s Announcement to Provide COVID-19 Assistance to Farmers and Families

New investments, secured by Chairwoman Stabenow in the December COVID-19 package, are now available to help farmers and families recover from the pandemic

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Chairwoman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, issued the following statement regarding the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) $330 million investment to provide healthy food to families in need, support fruit and vegetable growers, help dairy farmers, and strengthen the food supply chain.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has created many gaps in our food supply chain causing far too many families to struggle to put food on their tables,” said Chairwoman Stabenow. “That’s why I worked to get these critical investments in the COVID relief package so that our farmers can keep producing the products our families need to survive.”

In December 2020, Chairwoman Stabenow secured $75 million for the Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program, which increases the value of nutrition assistance for families who buy fruits and vegetables. This assistance also supports specialty crop farmers, grocery stores, and local economies. To further support fruit and vegetable growers, Chairwoman Stabenow included $100 million for Specialty Crop Block Grants to help them respond to COVID-19 through investments in marketing, training, and research.

Chairwoman Stabenow also secured $400 million for a Dairy Product Donation Program, modeled after the 2018 Farm Bill pilot milk donation program, to donate milk and dairy to families in need and minimize food waste.