The federal government will direct billions of dollars to struggling farmers around the country and in New York to offset the economic panic caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The move will free up $1.6 billion to farms, along with $3 billion for meat, dairy, fruit and vegetable product purchases.

The pandemic has sunk demand for food products as restaurants and schools remain closed to prevent the spread of the virus.

The lowered demand has led to dairy farmers dumping milk or vegetable growers discarding crops.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture, which is funding the farm support, also plans to send the excess food to food banks around the country.

“No farmer wants to see food go to waste but is sometimes left with no other choice considering the major challenges confronting the food distribution chain,” said New York Farm Bureau President David Fisher.

“Like most small businesses, New York’s farm families are trying to cope the best they can while they continue to make sure food production doesn’t stop. The USDA announcement is an investment into food security for this country.”