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News Release

Release No. 0600.09
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USDA Office of Communications (202) 720-4623

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A RECOVERY ACT SUCCESS STORY: MORE FOOD AVAILABLE AT LOCAL FOOD BANKS THROUGHOUT THE COUNTRY

Video Showcases California Food Bank That Gets More Food Donations

RICHMOND, Calif., Dec. 4, 2009 - People here and across the country who find that they need to rely on local food banks to help feed their families are now finding more food on the shelves because of money provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). ARRA provided an additional $100 million to purchase foods and $50 million to assist food banks with administrative costs for The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) at USDA. Watch this ARRA success story video at www.youtube.com/watch?v=THeq62vMRW4This is an external link or third-party site outside of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) website..

"We have seen unheard of increases in the number of people coming to get food," said Lindsay Johnson, director of the Food Bank program in Richmond, Calif. "People coming to get food between April and June increased by 40 percent. Very fortunately, the food that USDA was able to provide to us also increased."

At a nearby food distribution center, needy families line up to get tickets for boxes of food. The line forms early and stays full. For many in this community, the food is a vital safety net. About a third of the food goes to feed children.

ARRA funds are also increased the benefits in the USDA Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, formerly known as Food Stamps. Most families of four received an additional $80 a month to purchase nutritious foods.

President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 into law on Feb. 17, 2009. It is designed to jumpstart the nation's economy, create or save millions of jobs and put a down payment on addressing long-neglected challenges so our country can thrive in the 21st century. The act includes measures to modernize our nation's infrastructure, enhance energy independence, expand educational opportunities, preserve and improve affordable health care, provide tax relief, and protect those in greatest need.

More information about USDA's Recovery Act efforts is available at www.usda.gov/recovery. More information about the federal government's efforts on ARRS is available at www.recovery.gov.

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