Washington Post: Trump’s signature effort to direct farm surplus to needy families abruptly withdraws large contract amid criticism of rollout

Washington Post: Trump’s signature effort to direct farm surplus to needy families abruptly withdraws large contract amid criticism of rollout. “The Trump administration withdrew one of the largest contracts in its signature effort to use farm surplus to feed hungry Americans, capping a chaotic process that industry experts say relied too heavily on companies with little demonstrated experience in farming, food chains or food banks. Contracts totaling more than $107 million went to a San Antonio event planner, an avocado mail-order company, a health-and-wellness airport kiosk company and a trade finance corporation, according to the Agriculture Department’s announcement of contract awards.”

Associated Press: Uncertain future rattles Italy’s famed restaurants

Associated Press: Uncertain future rattles Italy’s famed restaurants. “Italy’s restaurants and pizzerias, for foodies the world over a key reason to visit, are facing an existential threat. Those that didn’t fold after 10 weeks of a strict coronavirus lockdown are emerging to find that new social distancing requirements might yet drive them out of business.”

Opinion: The End of Meat is Here (New York Times)

(The lead picture for this story features corpses of skinned animals and might disturb you.) New York Times: Opinion: The End of Meat is Here. “Meat is embedded in our culture and personal histories in ways that matter too much, from the Thanksgiving turkey to the ballpark hot dog. Meat comes with uniquely wonderful smells and tastes, with satisfactions that can almost feel like home itself. And what, if not the feeling of home, is essential? And yet, an increasing number of people sense the inevitability of impending change. Animal agriculture is now recognized as a leading cause of global warming. According to The Economist, a quarter of Americans between the ages of 25 and 34 say they are vegetarians or vegans, which is perhaps one reason sales of plant-based ‘meats’ have skyrocketed, with Impossible and Beyond Burgers available everywhere from Whole Foods to White Castle.”

New Mexico Department of Agriculture: Website Connects Consumers With New Mexico Agriculture Products

New Mexico Department of Agriculture: Website Connects Consumers With New Mexico Agriculture Products. “As part of the emergency response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of Agriculture has assisted with identifying sources and securing food in a timely manner, whether it has been for food banks or for New Mexico’s Nations, Tribes and Pueblos. To add to this effort, now consumers can link directly to local producers and agricultural businesses.”

Wedding Planner, Caterer, “Brand Builder”: Trump’s Food Aid Program Is Paying $100+ Million to Unlicensed Dealers (ProPublica)

ProPublica: Wedding Planner, Caterer, “Brand Builder”: Trump’s Food Aid Program Is Paying $100+ Million to Unlicensed Dealers. “The contractors on Friday began delivering boxes containing fresh produce to food banks and other nonprofits. Forty-nine out of the 159 contractors picked by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to deliver boxes containing produce don’t have a requisite license from the same agency, according to a search of the USDA’s database using the information released about the contractors. Some of the contractors are established companies, and many food banks told ProPublica they’re successfully and gratefully receiving shipments. But other contractors have eclectic backgrounds with little track record in food distribution, such as a wedding planner, a caterer and a ‘brand builder.’ As a result, some food banks are left scrambling for shipments or even callbacks.”

AM NY: New website aims to empower New York City’s food scene amid the COVID-19 pandemic

AM NY: New website aims to empower New York City’s food scene amid the COVID-19 pandemic. “A new digital initiative has launched to help empower New York City’s restaurants and bars during the COVID-19 pandemic. #SaveNYCEats is an online platform where participating businesses can feature take-home chef kits, future unique dining experiences, gift cards, merchandise and other special offers. Those who visit the #SaveNYCEats website can view aggregated offers and each of the offers links directly through to the chosen restaurant’s website for fulfillment and payment.”