May 5, 2020
Section 32 is where CNP's get reimbursement.
These funds come from taxes or tariffs on imports. Section 32
can be spent on commodities for the programs and to help farmers by
removing surplus production of items such as those listed below
that aren't being sold because of lower purchasing by consumers or
exports to other countries.
Using broad authority USDA has had since the Depression era, known as Section
32 purchases, officials will buy up those surplus products and redistribute
them to food banks, school feeding programs and other efforts to help hungry Americans. It’s separate from the $3 billion ad-hoc commodity purchase program that Secretary Sonny Perdue announced in mid-April as part of a broader farm rescue package.
What’s on the menu? Much of the new funds will be used to buy dairy ($120 million), potatoes and turkey products ($50 million each) and strawberries ($35 million). Chicken, catfish, pollock, asparagus, sweet potatoes, tart cherries and orange juice are also on the list. The food purchases are expected to ship in July, USDA said.
Farm groups have been calling for Perdue to exercise the
department’s purchase power to help farmers whose markets have disappeared as
schools, restaurants and other businesses started shutting down in March. But USDA was slow to step in, even with demand surging
at food banks as unemployment rose.