November 27, 2014

USDA to provide fruit and vegetables to food banks

Food banks in Iowa and across the country are getting help from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to provide for the needy. Former Iowa Department of Human Services Director Kevin Concannon is now the USDA Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services. He says the USDA will buy over $126-million worth of fruits and vegetables for needy families under The Emergency Food Assistance Program, or TEFAP.

“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. 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, 12.6-percent of Iowans, between 2010 and 2012, were “food insecure” — meaning they did not have access to nutritious food. Kevin Concannon ran Iowa’s Department of Health and Human Services from 2003 to 2008. He joined the USDA in 2009 shortly after former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack became the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture.