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WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Wednesday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announces the $30 million purchase of U.S. shrimp under Section 32, which provides emergency food assistance to states and food banks nationwide. Section 32 purchases will provide additional support for producers and Americans in need in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

House Republican Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) released the following statement regarding the purchase:

“I applaud the Trump Administration for approving $30 million of shrimp purchases under the Section 32 program, which distributes emergency food assistance to states and food banks nationwide. This is great news for the U.S. shrimp industry, including Louisiana shrimpers, who tirelessly work to provide their delicious, world-class product. This program will support our shrimpers who have been adversely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, while providing U.S. shrimp proudly produced in Louisiana and the entire Gulf Coast to the families who need it most.”

Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) released the following statement regarding the purchase:

“Louisiana shrimpers and their families produce the best seafood in the world. Season after season, Louisiana shrimpers have faithfully put food on the table for millions of Americans, and I admire their hard work and dedication during this crisis. The USDA’s decision is a win-win for Louisiana shrimpers and Americans who need a little help to persevere through hard times,” said Kennedy.

U.S. Congressman Garret Graves (South Louisiana) released the following statement regarding the purchase:

“This is a win-win-win for all of Louisiana’s consumers, families and local fishermen as the coronavirus has impacted everyone across the board. For many families across Louisiana, this will help feed food banks, schools and households. Shrimp are also full of protein and vitamins, providing a much healthier option to communities in need compared to the raisins, prunes and tart cherries they’ve included on the commodity list.

“This is also a much-needed shot in the arm for South Louisiana as one out of every 70 jobs dependent on the industry, creating an economic impact in the billions annually and serving as the economic engine of local communities. We are one of the nation’s leaders on shrimp, crawfish, blue crabs and oysters – as well as recreational fishing of which we are one of the top states in the country.

“Additionally, Louisiana is one of the top fisheries states in the nation and we are still hurting from the Bonnet Carre Spillway opening last year – and the coronavirus has made matters worse for the shrimp fishermen. Today’s announcement will absolutely help bridge the gap between further loss for our processors and fleet, and be the lifeline needed to stay afloat until our economy is back on track.”