President Trump’s re-election efforts have extended to millions of food aid boxes that are distributed to needy families.
Last week, the Agriculture Department began requiring that boxes of surplus food that are distributed to families in need, which is run by the USDA’s $4 billion Farmers to Families Food Box Program, must also include a letter from the President claiming credit for the program.
According to Politico, the letter is printed on White House letterhead, comes in both English and Spanish, and features Trump’s famous bold signature.
“As President, safeguarding the health and well-being of our citizens is one of my highest priorities,” the letter reads, according to Politico. “As part of our response to coronavirus, I prioritized sending nutritious food from our farmers to families in need throughout America.”
Organizations distributing the food aid boxes through the program, which has sent more than 100 million boxes to those in need since May, are raising concerns that the program is being co-opted as part of Trump’s re-election efforts a month before the November presidential election.
Several organizations have refused to distribute the boxes in light of the Trump-mandated letter requirement, according to Politico.
Politico noted that the Trump administration had gradually begun including letters from the President in USDA’s food boxes over the past few months. However, it was only last week that the USDA mandated the inclusion of the Trump-touting letters in all boxes distributed by companies with government contracts, according to six sources who spoke with Politico.
It’s not the first time that the President has used a similar tactic amid his efforts to bolster his image amid his re-election campaign.
Earlier this year, Trump ensured that his signature was featured in letters for people who received stimulus checks as part of a coronavirus relief package. The President’s name was also printed on the checks.