Friday, April 18, 2008

Farm Bill News

While producers at farmers' markets may be anxious to see the release of the Farm Bill, food banks across the nation are probably even more apprehensive.

More and more Americans throughout the country have a rising need of assistance to supply food to their families. According to the president of the largest network of food banks in United States,
America's Second Harvest, this need is even harder for food banks to meet today due to the lack of donations in recent years. Donations have reportedly fell by 75% in the last four years which has in turn caused the food banks to spend about $127 million to make up for the lost aid.

America's Second Harvest anticipates the passing of a
Farm Bill with great emphasis on nutrition which is exactly what Ed Shafer, the United States Secretary of Agriculture, says they will get. Through the new "Stocks-for-Food" initiative, more than $100 million in extra raw commodity stocks will be switched out for food of both domestic and international origin all due to the USDA. This exchange is targeted to help provide food to more than 700,000 children throughout the world.

Until the Farm Bill finally passes, USDA is planning to fill the gap in food banks with $45 million compensation.

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