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United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Foods

USDA supports U.S. growers and producers and individuals facing hunger by making food purchases when prices are low or supplies are high and later distributing the food to communities in need.

What’s at Stake?

Part of USDA’s mission is to support U.S. growers and producers. That support includes stepping in to purchase U.S.-grown commodities to stabilize prices or to reduce a market surplus. When USDA makes commodity support purchases, the food is later distributed to communities in need through programs such as The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) and the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP).

USDA food purchases provide significant support to U.S. food producers, food banks, and our neighbors in need of food assistance each year. In 2020, USDA purchases totaled over $1.1 billion in food through the Food Purchase and Distribution Program, which provided temporary help to growers and producers impacted by trade issues. USDA purchased foods that did not have an export market and connected the foods to food banks and other organizations for distribution to individuals throughout the country without enough to eat. The loss of USDA food purchases in 2021 will have a significant impact on the amount of food that Feeding America’s network of food banks can provide for those facing hunger this year.

Our Experts

Carrie Calvert

Vice President, Agriculture and Nutrition Government Relations

Mya Price

Manager, Commodity and Federal Nutrition Programs

Jadi Romero

Senior Manager Government Relations & Public Policy