Trade War With China Means More Supplies For Local Food Banks

Steve Burns
September 23, 2019 - 1:20 pm
LI Food Bank

Sophia Hall/WCBS 880


NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- As the Trump Administration's trade war with China drags on, there is a positive side effect: more food for local food banks.

The trade war with China has meant that millions of pounds of food purchased by the federal government that would have otherwise be sold overseas is staying in the U.S. and getting donated.

As a result, so much more food has come into the Long Island Cares food bank that they had to build a new mezzanine in their warehouse.  

"We distribute about 3 million pounds of government commodity food, with the addition of trade mitigation that number for this year is going to be about 5 and a half million pounds of food," the nonprofit's CEO Paule Pachter said.

The Connecticut Food Bank's CEO Valarie Shultz-Wilson says the amount of poundage that's come in to their warehouse has increased nearly threefold.

"We have just an excess supply of food that the federal government sent to us, whether it's apples or chickens or walnuts or blueberries," Shultz-Wilson said.

Both food banks have faced some logistical challenges.

"Just trying to get it in and processed and out the door which means more manpower, more trucks and more labor," Shultz-Wilson said.

But with hundreds of thousands of people struggling with hunger and food insecurity on Long Island and in Connecticut, both Shultz-Wilson and Pachter said more food will never be turned down.