Ag News: USDA Nutrition Program and Perdue on Meat Packing 95%
** U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced a nationwide extension of another key flexibility for USDA’s child nutrition programs. This waiver allows local partners, who have been working overtime serving meals to kids during the health crisis, the ability to continue serving free meals to all children – regardless of where they live – for the remainder of the summer. This action is part of USDA’s ongoing commitment to making it as easy as possible for local program operators to get food to children impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Since the start of the national public health crisis, FNS has used a whole of America approach to ensure those in need have access to one or more of the 15 nutrition assistance programs under USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service’s (FNS) umbrella. To date, FNS has approved over 2,800 flexibilities and will continue to work with states and other partners as the nation turns its focus to reopening in a safe way.
** Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue said in a statement issued June 9 that meatpacking plants across America are “operating at more than 95% of their average capacity.”
Purdue said he applauds the “safe reopening of critical infrastructure meatpacking facilities across the United States.”
He said as of Tuesday morning, “beef facilities are operating at 98%, pork facilities are operating at 95%, and poultry facilities are operating at 98% of their capacity compared to the same time last year.”
** After a dry winter, reduced water availability has led Central Valley farmers to plant fewer crops and water districts to seek additional supplies, as state and federal agencies dispute management of the Sacramento-San Joaquin
Delta. Federal and state water projects expect to deliver only 20% supplies to most agricultural customers. Water agencies say the wet winter of a year ago prevented even more severe cuts.