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U.S. offers $1.5 billion to help provide school meals during supply chain crunch -Breaking


© Reuters. FILEPHOTO: Hot meals prepared for family members are on hand for pick-up once a week in the summer. This photo was taken June 29th, 2021, Gurnee. REUTERS/Christopher Walljasper

Christopher Walljasper

CHICAGO, (Reuters) – The U.S. Agriculture Department will provide up to $1.5 Billion to school meals programs to weather supply chain crises, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced Friday.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, delays in shipment, shortages of products and high labor costs, it has proved difficult to obtain large amounts of food.

Vilsack stated that USDA has tapped the Commodity Credit Corporation to provide funding. The CCC provides $1 billion to help schools purchase meals and $500 million to buy local food to distribute to schools.

Vilsack stated that this will lead to a 5% rise in what schools districts have normally available at Gourmet Gorilla. Gourmet Gorilla is a food delivery company that delivers 40,000 meals each year to Chicago’s public schools.

CCC, which was established in 1930, has been used to give subsidies to farmers. USDA also has broad authority to direct payment to growers when crops are at low prices.

Americans are still struggling to get enough food, so the Biden administration is trying to increase funding for food stamps as well as school meals programs.

These funds will be made available beginning in January.

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