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Trump announces multi-billion dollar coronavirus food assistance program

(CNN) President Trump announced Friday that the Department of Agriculture will be implementing a new multi-billion dollar relief program to deal with the fallout of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Today I’m also announcing that … the Department of Agriculture will be implementing a $19 billion relief program for our great farmers and ranchers as they cope with the fallout of the global pandemic,” Trump said during Friday’s White House press briefing. 

The coronavirus food assistance program will have two main missions: to issue direct payments to farmers and to purchase food to be distributed to food banks and community and faith-based organizations.

“The program will include direct payments to farmers as well as mass purchases of dairy, meat and agricultural produce to get that food to the people in need. The USDA will receive another $14 billion in July,” Trump said. 

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said, “American agriculture has been hard hit like most of America with the coronavirus and President Trump is standing with our farmers and all Americans to make sure we all get through this national emergency.”

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