Efforts underway to get food from US farms to the needy

A $3 billion federal program will buy fresh produce, dairy and meat and deliver it to food banks

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May 26, 2020 - 10:06 AM

Texas football head coach Tom Herman loads a box of free and fresh food into a vehicle's trunk at The Central Texas Food Bank.

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — As food banks have struggled to meet soaring demand from people suddenly out of work because of the coronavirus pandemic, it has been especially troubling to see farmers have to bury produce, dump milk and euthanize hogs.

Now some states are providing more money to help pay for food that might otherwise go to waste, the U.S. Agriculture Department is spending $3 billion to help get farm products to food banks, and a senator is seeking $8 billion more to buy farm produce for food banks.

“Obviously nobody likes to see waste of good food,” said Mark Quandt, executive director of the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York. “And to know that farmers put so much work and money and energy into producing the product. That’s got to be breaking their heart to then have to just dump product like that or just throw it away or plow it under.”

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