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Amid Pandemic, Food and Ag Critical in Feeding Economy

The ongoing COVID-19 crisis has served as a reminder of the critical role that the United States food and agriculture industries play in fueling our nation and ensuring that Americans are supplied with an abundance of safe food during this time of need. America's food and agricultural industry is committed to helping the country get through the COVID-19 pandemic. A new nationwide economic impact study, commissioned by 21 food and agriculture groups and available at, reinforces the significance of these industries as critical to day-to-day American life.


As Americans follow Center for Disease Control (CDC) guidance to take precautions and practice social distancing, the 20 million employees in the post-farm gate industry are working overtime to produce, distribute and ensure access to high-quality food and agricultural products during this unprecedented time. Further, the nearly 3 million people employed at supermarkets, grocery stores, convenience stores, and other establishments are on the front lines providing for the needs of Americans.


Meanwhile, the lives of hard-working people in nearly 14.2 million jobs in establishments where food and beverages are sold for on-premise consumption have been upended by state and local restrictions on gatherings, events and dining.


The economic impact study released today shows that one-fifth of the nation's economy and one-fourth of American jobs are linked to the food and agriculture sectors, either directly or indirectly. Additionally, the analysis broke down the food and agriculture sectors' economic impact by state and congressional district.


Food industry experts have indicated the demand for food, water and cleaning products over the course of recent weeks has exceeded any previous shopping holiday season, causing retailers to experience delays between replenishment. In a show of supply chain strength and collaboration, an ad-hoc partnership between the International Foodservice Distributors Association and FMI-Food Industry Association connects foodservice distributors that have excess capacity (products, transportation services, warehousing services) to assist food retailers and wholesalers that require additional resources to fulfill needs at grocery stores, which are experiencing skyrocketing demand.