The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced nearly 2 billion in additional Commodity Credit Corporation funds to allow food banks and school meal programs, struggling with supply chain issues and high costs, to purchase American-grown foods. Funds include:
- Nearly $500 million for schools to purchase food for their lunch and breakfast programs, bringing the total CCC investment in school food since December 2021 to close to $2.5 billion, benefiting the roughly 30 million students who participate in school lunch and 15 million who participate in school breakfast each day.
- Nearly $500 million to expand the Local Food Purchase Assistance, or LFPA, cooperative agreement program; and
- Nearly $1 billion to purchase food for emergency food providers like food banks.
“SNA is extremely grateful to USDA for their continued work to support school meal programs contending with inflationary pressures, supply chain disruptions and the loss of pandemic waivers providing free meals for all students,” said SNA President Lori Adkins, MS, SNS, CHE.
USDA’s press release indicates this Supply Chain Assistance funding can be used by school districts to purchase unprocessed and minimally processed domestic food such as fresh fruit, milk, cheese, frozen vegetables and ground meat. Each state will allocate the funds to schools based on student enrollment, with a minimum amount per district.