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Trump announces $3 billion purchase of dairy, meat and farm produce

President Donald Trump has announced that the United States will begin purchasing $3 billion worth of dairy, meat and produce from farmers as unemployment soars and people are forced to food lines.

11 May 2020, at 11:23am

"Starting early next week, at my order, the USA will be purchasing, from our farmers, ranchers and speciality crop growers, 3 billion dollars worth of dairy, meat and produce for food lines and kitchens," Trump wrote in a post on Twitter.

It was unclear whether his statement referred to a $19 billion relief plan announced by the US Department of Agriculture in April. The agency said it would buy $3 billion worth of agricultural commodities as part of that program.

The White House did not respond immediately to Reuters' request for comment.

The US economy lost a staggering 20.5 million jobs in April and the unemployment rate rose to 14.7 percent, government data showed on Friday (8 May).

Food banks have been running short on staples as hunger soars. The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted supply chains, with farmers saying they have had to destroy their produce and euthanise pigs because processing facilities have shuttered.