The USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) conducted the Food Purchase and Distribution Program (FPDP) during Fiscal Year 2019 (Oct. 2018 – Sept. 2019) and Fiscal Year 2020 (Oct. 2019 – Sept. 2020). The program was one of three USDA trade mitigation programs aimed at assisting farmers suffering from damage due to unjustified trade retaliation by foreign nations.
Under FPDP, over the course of these two years, USDA purchased about $2.3 billion of a variety of U.S. produced agricultural products impacted by trade tariffs normally going to export markets. USDA purchased food products produced on American farms by American farmers through approved vendors who had proven they were able to supply U.S.-produced products. The commodities purchased and the amounts of each were based on an economic analysis of the damage caused by the tariffs.
Most of the food purchased was provided to states for distribution to the network of food banks and food pantries that participate in The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP).
In the first round of trade mitigation, during fiscal year 2019, USDA was authorized to purchase up to $1.2 billion of food products. This round ended in September 2019 with about $1.1 billion spent on foods for distribution.
In the second round, during fiscal year 2020, the program was authorized to use CCC Charter Act authority to purchase up to $1.4 billion of surplus commodities affected by the tariffs. This round ended in September 2020 with about $1.2 billion spent on foods for distribution.