News Release, U.S. Department of Agriculture
(Washington, D.C., June 4, 2020)– U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced today that the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA)Farmers to Families Food Box Programhas distributed more than five million food boxes in support of American farmers and families affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The Farmers to Families Food Box Program was designed to put American farmers and distributors of all sizes back to work while supporting over-burdened food banks, community and faith-based organizations, and other non-profits serving Americans in need, and the program is doing just that,” said Secretary Perdue. “It’s encouraging to see the passion with which farmers, distributors and non-profits have gone above and beyond to make this program work in support of the American people. Although a momentous milestone, this is only the beginning for the program, and with continued support we expect up to 40 million boxes will be delivered throughout the country by June 30th.”
“Since our launch of the Farmers to Families Food Box, 5 million boxes have been successfully delivered to Americans most in need all across the country. Through this innovative program small and regional distributors are bringing back their workforce to procure food directly from our American farmers and ranchers. Fresh food is getting to those in need, even in the hardest to reach places, through partnerships with food banks, non-profits and faith-based communities,” said Advisor to the President, Ivanka Trump.
You may play the USDA Farmers Feed Families Food Box Program video or on the image below to watch a highlight video of USDA’s Farmers to Families Food Box Program in action across the United States:
On April 17, 2020, Secretary Perdueannounced the programas part of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program developed to help farmers, ranchers and consumers in response to the COVID-19 national emergency.
In under 30 days, the program contracted for $1.2 billion in food products including $461 million in fresh fruits and vegetables, $317 million in a variety of dairy products, $258 million in meat products and $175 million in a combination box of fresh produce, dairy or meat products, and began distribution of the food boxes across the United States on May 15, 2020.
Less than three weeks later, over five million food boxes have been distributed to families in need while providing much needed support to critically impacted agricultural sectors.
AMS partnered with national, regional and local suppliers, whose workforce has been significantly impacted by the closure of restaurants, hotels and other food service businesses. Suppliers package food products into family-sized boxes and then transport them to food banks, community and faith-based organizations, and other non-profits serving Americans in need.
As we approach the end of the initial round of Farmers to Families Food Box Program contracts worth $1.2 billion, USDA is exploring options to continue serving American farmers and families up to the program’s $3 billion authorization. USDA may extend current contracts or award additional contracts to ensure underserved areas are provided an opportunity to participate in the program. As the program prepares to enter the next phase, evaluations are ongoing to determine how to extend the program’s service in underserved communities.