The USDA has approved a $10.3 billion food-purchase program to help people pay for food, including frozen dinners and snacks, and to help families with chronic health issues.
The food pyramid program, which was approved by the Agriculture Department’s Food Safety and Inspection Service, is part of a larger $3.6 trillion food-safety bill that will provide billions in new assistance to help the nation’s farmers, ranchers and food companies produce more food.
“This program will help Americans get more fruits and vegetables and provide them with the nutrition they need for optimal health and well-being,” USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue said in a statement.
The program is intended to address “the rising obesity epidemic and the need to help Americans meet their dietary needs,” according to the USDA.
The USDA approved the program after extensive consultations with stakeholders including food manufacturers, farmers and other consumers.
The money will be spent on a variety of food-related programs and programs for adults and children, including a new online food-information site, the National Childhood Obesity Awareness Program, a nutrition education program, the nutrition education outreach program and a nutrition program to reduce the number of people with obesity.
The new food-order-tracking system will help provide real-time information on purchases and sales of foods, and the USDA’s Food Service Agency will develop guidelines for the tracking of food purchases, according to USDA.