At a time when many American families are worried about putting food on the table and farmers are reluctantly destroying massive amounts of unsold foodstuffs, the Trump administration is taking advantage of one of the rarest opportunities in politics: a genuine win-win.
Over the past several weeks, Senior White House Advisor Ivanka Trump and Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue have been working together on the Farmers to Families Food Box program, which delivers vital assistance to both farmers and families. With this program, the Department of Agriculture will work with local food distributors to purchase $3 billion of fresh produce, dairy, and meat products from American farmers and deliver them to food banks and charities that serve needy families all across the country.
Since the launch of the Food Box program, 5 million boxes have been successfully distributed, and 40 million boxes will be delivered to families in need by June 30. Already, the administration has signed 198 contracts with distribution companies, many of them small businesses that were adversely impacted by state and local stay-at-home orders related to the coronavirus pandemic.
The purpose of this program is to not only provide food for families in need, but to empower and give opportunities to farmers. The entire agriculture sector has been pummeled by the sudden economic freeze, which has forced farmers to destroy millions of pounds of food crops and dump millions of gallons of milk despite recurring shortages at grocery stores.
Presumptive Democrat presidential nominee Joe Biden is in hiding, afraid to face voters after compiling a record riddled with failures over the course of more than four decades in politics.
Fortunately, our action-driven President has proven to be the right leader at the right time to get us through this pandemic, and the Food Box program is just one example of that.
President Trump and the White House Coronavirus Task Force have led an unprecedented, comprehensive, and aggressive whole-of-government effort to slow the spread of the virus, starting with travel restrictions on COVID-19 hot spots in January. The Trump administration has since overseen the largest national mobilization since World War II, coordinating efforts to produce and distribute personal protective equipment (PPE) and supplies to health care professionals. As a result, our hospitals have not been overwhelmed, and no American who has needed a ventilator has gone without one. In Iowa, Republicans helped triple COVID-19 testing capacity by partnering with local hospitals with the “Test Iowa” initiative.
Economic relief programs such as direct payments to individuals and families, expanded unemployment benefits, and forgivable loans for businesses forced to close down by the pandemic, moreover, are designed to allow America to emerge from this crisis stronger than ever.
Before the coronavirus lockdowns began, President Trump’s pro-growth policies had produced an economic boom of truly staggering proportions, giving us the lowest unemployment rate in over half a century, lifting 7 million Americans off the food stamp rolls, and helping 10 million people escape welfare and achieve self-sufficiency. Under this administration, the unemployment rates for African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Asian Americans, women, and veterans have all hit historic lows, in some cases reaching the lowest levels ever recorded.
As cities and states emerge from coronavirus lockdowns, the President is determined to reprise that success and preside over the vaunted “v-shaped recovery” promised by the extremely encouraging May jobs report.
While we await that recovery, though, initiatives such as the Farmers to Families Food Box remain vital so that we can keep food on America’s tables instead of letting it rot in the fields. It’s the epitome of a win-win strategy.