USDA will continue food distribution program through Dec. 31

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 24 October 2020 at 2:02 pm

Photo by Tom Rivers: Ariyanna Boccacci, 14, of Albion helps with a food distribution on Wednesday at the Orleans County 4-H Fairgrounds. Volunteers distributed 3,000 boxes of food – 1,000 each of meat, dairy and produce. Each vehicle could receive one of each.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced on Friday it will be extending a food distribution program for another two months through Dec. 31.

The USDA has authorized $500 million for a fourth round of purchases for the USDA Farmers to Families Food Box Program. USDA is issuing solicitations for the fourth round to existing Basic Ordering Agreement (BOA) holders and expects to award contracts by Oct. 30 for deliveries of food boxes from Nov. 1 through Dec. 31, 2020.

“I’m gratified by the overwhelmingly positive response to the Farmers to Families Food Box program from families, distributors, food banks, faith-based organizations and non-profits in communities across the country,” said U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue. “We recently surpassed 110 million boxes delivered, and millions more are headed to Americans in need. I’m very pleased that we are able to extend this program and continue our relief efforts for American farmers and families.”

In Orleans County there have been distributions most Fridays at either Albion, Holley or Medina and every other Wednesday at the Orleans County 4-H Fairgrounds.

There will be a distribution this coming Friday in Albion at the Main Street Store parking lot, beginning at about 8:30 a.m.

In the fourth round, as in the third round, states have been allocated boxes based on the internal need of the state. The program will continue the purchase of combination boxes to include fresh produce, dairy products, fluid milk and meat products, the USDA said.

Congressman Chris Jacobs, R-Clarence, said he was pleased to hear the program will continue for two more months.

“I commend the USDA and the Administration for continuing to make American families and farmers a top priority,” Jacobs said. “The Farmers to Families Food Box program has been a highly successful program that has provided healthy nutritious food to millions of American families. I have seen how it supports farmers and agri-businesses right here in NY-27 and will continue to advocate for programs that support local agriculture.”

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