WASHINGTON (KSMX)- U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced today that the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Farmers to Families Food Box Program has distributed more than five million food boxes in support of American farmers and families affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Regular updates to the number of food boxes distributed will be posted on USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) website. On April 17, Secretary Perdue announced the program as 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. 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.