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Release No. 0126.17
Food Assistance Heading to Hurricane Hit Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands Households
WASHINGTON, Sept. 30, 2017 – Puerto Rico families struggling in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria have started receiving assistance in the form of food boxes packed with nutritious, 100 percent American grown and produced USDA Foods from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said the food packages are designed to address an immediate need for food until a longer-term solution is ready to be put in place.
“People in Puerto Rico face unprecedented challenges,” Perdue said. “Due to the widespread damage and power outages, the island has little or no food that can be bought in stores, and we at USDA are working hard with the territorial leaders to make sure households get the food they need.”
Disaster Household Distribution was approved by the USDA to begin on September 26, at the request of the Puerto Rico Department of Family. Each box will contain approximately 9-16 pounds of USDA Foods. The boxes are expected to reach approximately 500,000 households.
USDA is also working to provide additional food deliveries to meet increased need during the disaster and support those affected by the hurricane. USDA will replace the foods used for the Disaster Household Distribution so that Puerto Rico will continue to have USDA foods available.
USDA is making food assistance in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands available through other channels as well:
USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service administers 15 nutrition assistance programs, including the National School Lunch and School Breakfast programs, the Child and Adult Care Food Program, the Summer Food Service Program, the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, which together comprise America’s nutrition safety net. For more information on FNS assistance during times of disaster, visit www.fns.usda.gov/disaster.