Kevin Concannon, the USDA’s Undersecretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services, says the agency will buy more than $126-million worth of fruits and vegetables for needy families under the Emergency Food Assistance Program.
“There is no good justification in any way, shape or form why anybody in this country should go hungry and we have the greatest capacity to produce food,” Concannon says.
A recent study from the group Feeding America shows 20% of children in Nebraska under the age of 18 are at risk for hunger.
Nebraska’s largest food bank, the Omaha-based Food Bank for the Heartland, distributes food to more than 350 agencies in 77 counties in Nebraska and 16 counties in western Iowa. It distributes nine-million pounds of food to more than 150,000 people in the two states each year.
USDA officials, including Concannon, recently visited a food bank in Washington, D.C. to see how the needy are being helped.
“These centers across the country, they are often emergency feeding sites,” Concannon said. “They are an essential part of the safety net for millions of American that are struggling.”
According to a report released by the USDA last year, 211,000 Nebraskans are “food insecure,” meaning, they don’t always know where they will find their next meal.