This is no time for the federal government to be reducing the food available to food banks nationwide, but that is just what’s happening. See the update below:

Update on Recent TEFAP Purchases

Feeding America learned last week that USDA is making $50 million available for the purchase of a variety of canned, frozen, and fresh fruits and vegetables and juices. These products will be distributed through TEFAP and will have estimated delivery dates betweek September 2011 and March 2012. Each state will be provided with their fair share of funding, and will be able to order from a menu of products which include tomato sauce, corn, carrots, green beans, peaches, pears, cranberry juice, orange juice, blueberries, potatoes, and oranges. This purchase is being made to satisfy a requirement in the 2012 Farm Bill that USDA purchase $401 million worth of “specialty crops” (i.e., fruits and vegetables) in FY2011.

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[M]uch more help is going to be needed to shore up supplies of TEFAP commoditeis nationwide. The inclusion of these products brings total FY11 spending on TEFAP up to $360 million. However, that still level of spending is still approximately $295 million — or 45% — below the FY2010 spending level.