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A mound of french fries in Antwerp in happier times. Photo: Barrie Fanton/Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Hundreds of thousands of pounds of potatoes are at risk unless Belgians eat more french fries during the coronavirus crisis, Romain Cools, the secretary-general of the country's potato industry group, told CNBC.

The big picture: Frozen potatoes account for 75% of Belgium's potato processing capacity, and demand has been crushed with restaurants shuttered and freezers filled up.

By the numbers: Belgium's industry faces a possible loss of $135.5 million, if hundreds of tons of surplus potatoes aren't eaten by this year, AP reports.

"We're working with supermarkets to see whether we can launch a campaign asking Belgians to do something for the sector by eating fries — especially frozen fries — twice a week."
— Cools told CNBC

The big picture: Belgium is set to lift its stay-at-home order for most of its population as soon as Saturday. But, no date has yet been established for restaurants and frites stands to reopen.

  • In the meantime, businesses are organizing shipments to food banks and exports to Central Europe and Africa.

Go deeper: Coronavirus breaks the food supply chain

Go deeper

Updated 24 mins ago - Politics & Policy

House sends anti-Asian hate crimes bill to Biden's desk

Asian Coalition of Massachusetts organizer Fiona Phie takes a moment of silence after placing an offering among flowers, candles and incense to honor those who have experienced violent anti-Asian hate crimes. Photo: Erin Clark/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

The House voted 364-62 on Tuesday to pass the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act and send it to President Biden's desk, who has said he will sign the measure into law.

Why it matters: Introduced by Rep. Grace Meng (D-N.Y.), the bill is Congress' first substantial effort to address the rise of anti-Asian hate this past year, which has included stabbings, sexual assault and elder abuse.

Feds investigating alleged scheme to illegally finance Collins’ re-election bid

Sen. Susan Collins. Photo: SARAH SILBIGER / Getty Images

The FBI is investigating what it describes as a massive scheme to illegally finance Sen. Susan Collins' 2020 reelection bid, Axios has learned.

What's happening: A recently unsealed search warrant application shows the FBI believes a Hawaii defense contractor illegally funneled $150,000 to a pro-Collins super PAC and reimbursed donations to Collins' campaign. There's no indication that Collins or her team were aware of any of it.

Mapped: Confederate monuments over time

Data: Southern Poverty Law Center; Note: There are some monuments with unknown dedication dates and they are not represented in the bar chart; Map: Michelle McGhee/Axios