Tags: Coronavirus | trump | food | aid | letter

Letters From Trump to Come With Food Aid Boxes

donald trump stands in front of food boxes
President Donald Trump arrives to speak about the "Farmers to Families Food Box Program" at Flavor First Growers and Packers, Monday, Aug. 24, 2020, in Mills River, N.C. (AP Photo/Nell Redmond)

By    |   Thursday, 01 October 2020 10:40 AM

Boxes of surplus food for needy families will now be required to come with a signed letter from President Donald Trump.

Since May, the Agriculture Department has distributed over 100 million boxes containing meat, dairy, and produce that would normally go to food-service businesses through its $4 billion Farmers to Families Food Box Program.

But last week, Politico reports, the USDA started mandating that letters from Trump taking credit for the program and featuring his signature be added to each box that is distributed by companies with government contracts.

“Politics has played zero role in the Farmers to Families food box program,” the USDA said in a statement. “It is purely about helping farmers and distributors get food to Americans in need during this unprecedented time.”

The president’s detractors, however, say this is just the latest example of Trump using taxpayers’ money and the levers of government to promote himself as the election approaches.

Early on in the coronavirus crisis, for example, Trump’s signature appeared on stimulus checks going to millions of Americans, a move that Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer tried to block.

“In my 30 years of doing this work, I've never seen something this egregious,” said Ohio Association of Food Banks Executive Director Lisa Hamler-Fugitt of the USDA’s latest decision. "These are federally purchased boxes.”

Some Democrat lawmakers and food banks were concerned that distributing the food boxes could be a violation of the Hatch Act, which prevents executive branch employees from engaging in political activity. However, Reminger Attorneys at Law shared a legal memo with Politico determining that the letters are not a violation since they don’t mention the election and are not “directed towards the success or failure of a political party, candidate for political office or partisan political group.”

Some food banks still feel that the letters are inappropriate and have chosen to remove them from the boxes. According to Politico, a major food bank in Oregon stopped participating in the program altogether, partly due to the letters.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, on the other hand, continues to support the letters as a messaging tool, a USDA spokesperson said.

“In addition to benefiting from fresh produce, dairy and meat products, Americans in need also are receiving essential information about how to protect themselves and others from COVID-19,” Fauci said, in a statement provided by the USDA.

© 2020 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


   
1Like our page
2Share
US
Boxes of surplus food for needy families will now be required to come with a signed letter from President Donald Trump. Since May, the Agriculture Department has distributed over 100 million boxes containing meat, dairy, and produce that would normally go to food-service...
trump, food, aid, letter
401
2020-40-01
Thursday, 01 October 2020 10:40 AM
Newsmax Media, Inc.
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved