Mississippi catfish producers may be reeling in some much-needed revenue thanks to a USDA surplus purchase.
U.S. Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith said in a release today that the U.S. Department of Agriculture plans to purchase $30 million in surplus food for distribution to food banks and community support programs.
“The coronavirus has depressed the market for catfish and other commodities, and Secretary (Sonny) Perdue is right to exercise his power to use an existing program to purchase surplus food that can be directed toward food banks,” said Hyde-Smith, who serves on the Senate Agriculture Committee and Senate Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee.
This is part of an overall $470 million purchase of surplus food that includes catfish, poultry, sweet potatoes and other goods, the release said.
“Mississippi producers and processing facilities will benefit from this action which is really a win-win for them and for people who need help getting food during these difficult days,” Hyde-Smith said.
Perdue is using his authority under “Section 32,” a permanently-authorized program, to make emergency purchases of surplus U.S. commodities for distribution to domestic food assistance programs, the release said. The program is funded through a 30 percent appropriation of the previous year’s customs receipts collected by the U.S. Government from imported products.