USDA Announces Plans for Round 3 Farmers to Families Food Box Program
WASHINGTON, DC - The innovative Farmers to Families Food Box Program has been integral in helping our country navigate this challenging time. In a landmark announcement, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue stated that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will launch a third round of the Farmers to Families program, with purchases from distributions to occur from September 1 to October 31, 2020. The purchases will spend the balance of $3 billion authorized for the program, adding to the more than 46 million Farmers to Families Food Boxes have been invoiced and delivered.
“This third round of Farmers to Families Food Box Program purchases is a testament to the great work done by vendors in support of American agriculture and the American people. It is also a testament that the program is accomplishing what we intended, supporting U.S. farmers and distributors and getting food to those who need it most. It’s a real trifecta, which is why we call it a win-win-win,” said Secretary Perdue. “The efforts of everyone involved form the backbone of the Farmers to Families Food Box Program and its goal to help fill the hunger gap in all of our communities.”
Eligibility in the third round will be open to entities that can meet the government’s requirements and specifications. Proposals will be expected to illustrate how coverage will be provided to areas identified as opportunity zones, detail subcontracting agreements, and address the “last mile” delivery of product into the hands of the food insecure population.
As reported in a press release, a notice explaining the solicitation process will be issued in the days to come with a webinar and other educational opportunities provided for those interested in participating.
“The Farmers to Families Food Box Program has created a tangible link between hungry families and struggling farmers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Advisor to the President, Ivanka Trump. "Through this third round of Farmers to Families Food Box purchases announced today, the Trump Administration continues its steadfast commitment to supporting our farmers, bolstering our workforce, and feeding families most in need during this critical time.”
In the ongoing second round of purchasing and distribution, which began July 1 and will conclude August 31, USDA aims to purchase up to $1.47 billion of food. USDA extended contracts of select vendors from the first round of the program worth up to $1.27 billion. Additionally, in the second round, USDA approved up to $202 million in new contracts with select vendors whose offers were not previously accepted. These distributors were selected to increase the focus on Opportunity Zones in order to direct food to reach underserved areas, places where either no boxes have yet been delivered, or where boxes are being delivered but where there is additional need.
The first round of purchases came out to more than $947 million, occurring from May 15 through June 30.
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