The USDA will provide up to $1.5 billion to help school meal programs get through the supply chain crunch. USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack says procuring large amounts of food is more difficult because of shipment delays, a lack of particular products, the high cost of food, as well as labor shortages brought on by COVID-19. USDA is accessing the Commodity Credit Corporation for funding, providing $1 billion for schools to purchase food for their meal programs. Another $500 million will be distributed for the purchase of local foods to be distributed to schools. “This will result in a five percent increase in what school districts normally have available,” Vilsack says. The CCC was established in the 1930s, and it’s generally been tapped to provide subsidies for farmers, and it gives USDA broad authority to make direct payments to growers when prices are low. The number of American’s without enough food to eat remains higher than before COVID-19.