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Bush Pushing End to Food Commodities Program for Nation's Poor & Elderly

Jerry Hagstrom
<http://www.grandforks.com/mld/grandforksherald/14030096.htm>
in an article posted on Monday at the Grand Forks Herald webpage (ND), reported that, "President Bush's budget proposal to eliminate funding for the Commodity Supplemental Food program <http://www.fns.usda.gov/fdd/programs/csfp/ , which distributes food
packages to 420,000 mothers, children and the elderly in 32 states, may be a signal the Bush administration plans to reduce government commodity purchases and should worry farmers, a key nutrition lobbyist and former Congressional Research Service official said Feb. 28.

 

"Jean Jones, the senior policy and research counsel for America's Second Harvest <http://www.secondharvest.org/ , a network of food banks and the former head of the food and agriculture section at the Congressional Research Service, noted in an interview that many of the foodstuffs distributed under the CSFP come from purchases the government makes when commodities are in surplus and prices are low."

Mr. Hagstrom went on to note that, "Jones said that dairy, peanut and fruit and vegetable producers should be particularly concerned because the food packages contain large amounts of those commodities. But Jones said that all 'farmers should be concerned about anything that would get rid of outlets for what they produce. It sends a signal the administration is going to pare back the price support programs.' The Nixon administration, she said, proposed to cut commodity purchases as a precursor to cutting other farm programs a year later."