In his daily coronavirus briefing, California Governor Gavin Newsom announced a new partnership between farmers and food banks to get more fresh food to those in need during the pandemic.
According to Newsom, farmers and ranchers have seen a 50% reduction in demand as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and that many have an excess of produce and commodities that they can't distribute. On the flip side, food banks have seen a 73% spike in demand.
Under the new partnership, 21 million lbs of fresh food and produce will be distributed to food banks on a monthly basis. Over 125 farmers and ranchers are providing supplies to 41 food banks in 58 counties across the state.
To fund the program, $3.6 million dollars have been raised through philanthropic organizations with a plan to keep the program funded through the end of the year.
Newsom also announced a 15% tax credit for farmers was announced.
In addition, Newsom announced that the federal government has provided a waiver to California which allows CalFresh participants, the state's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, to purchase commodities online on Amazon and Walmart.
Finally, Newsom also announced that children and families that had been eligible for free or reduced lunches during school are now eligible for an additional $365 a month through a new federal Pandemic ENT program.