The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced a fifth round of the Farmers to Families Food Box Program. An additional $1.5 billion worth of food will be distributed through the program. Funding for the additional round of the program has been made possible through the COVID-19 relief package that was included as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act. The program that supports American farmers and families in need has helped USDA to distribute more than 132 million boxes of food since it first began.
“This new round of Farmers to Families Food Boxes will go a long way in helping American families access nutritious and healthy meals as we recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. Thanks to the President Trump’s leadership, we have helped tens of millions of families and countless farmers with this program,” USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue said in a press release. “President Trump has committed to helping the American people recover and rebuild and this program helps American families get back on solid ground by ensuring they receive the nutritious food they need during these difficult times.”
USDA will again be purchasing combination boxes to be comprised of fresh produce, fluid milk, seafood, meat, and dairy products. Solicitation will be open to more than 240 organizations that have already received Basic Ordering Agreements (BOA). USDA expects solicitations to be issued by the end of the week. Contracts should be awarded by January 19. Once finalized, deliveries of food boxes are expected to begin soon after and will continue through the end of April.
The Farmers to Families Food Box program was initially made possible through the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program. In the first 45 days of the program, more than 35.5 million boxes were delivered. Several other rounds of the program were announced between July and October. USDA had already purchased more than $3.566 billion worth of food by October 31.