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USDA launches third Food Box program

The United States Department of Agriculture will launch a third round of Farmers to Families Food Box Program purchases with distributions to occur beginning by September 1 with a completion date of October 31. 

The purchases will spend the balance of $3 billion authorized for the program. To date, more than 46 million Farmers to Families Food Boxes have been invoiced and delivered.

The Farmers to Food Box Program has created a link between hungry families and struggling farmers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue said, this third round of the program is a testament that the program is accomplishing what the USDA intended, to support American farmers and distributors and get food to those who need it most.

Don Wambles, division director, Alabama Department of Agriculture, said initially the Farmers to Food Box Program was beneficial to Pike County area farmers.

“Early in the project, before food got scarce, area farmers had squash, cucumbers and sweet potatoes and later tomatoes available for the program,” Wambles said. “But, there was  not enough local produce available to go through the summer months.”

However, Wambles said, with schools closed, Alabama famers benefitted from the summer feeding programs.

“Including two truck-loads of eggs that were delivered to Southwest Alabama. The eggs provided a good source of protein to a large number of people,” Wambles said. “

The statewide distribution to schools in the fall will included satsumas, apples and possibly collards. Wambles said Alabama farmers are very appreciative of the opportunities presented to them through the Farmers to Families Food Box Program and other programs that feed those in need.