USDA Boosts Funding for Food Stamps

President Obama has signed annual budgetary legislation providing $121 billion in fiscal 2010 appropriations for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Department of Health and Human Services and other federal agencies.

WASHINGTON — President Obama has signed annual budgetary legislation providing $121 billion in fiscal 2010 appropriations for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Department of Health and Human Services and other federal agencies.

Approximately 80% of the appropriations, or $100 billion, will be invested in food stamps and school nutrition programs. The budget for the food stamp program was increased by $4 billion, to more than $58 billion. School nutrition program funding was also increased by $1.9 billion for a total of almost $17 billion.

The bill also included $290 million in direct-support funding for the U.S. dairy industry, and an additional $60 million for food pantries and nutrition programs to spend on diary products.

The collapse in farm-gate prices for milk has caused significant problems for the U.S. dairy industry. Analysts say that producing milk currently costs $18 per hundredweight, while dairies are currently receiving a price of just over $11, noted the Delta Farm Press, a sister publication of SN.

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