DECEMBER 2020 FARM-TO-FAMILIES FOOD BOX PROGRAM UPDATE
Starting in late December, there may be less food available at our distributions, and we may need to rely on more shelf stable product than fresh produce. Please be patient with us. Our food bank is doing its best to fundraise and find new food sources so we can continue to provide our clients with healthy, nutritious meals at this great time of need.
Food banks across the country are preparing for food supply disruptions at the end of December due to the government’s Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) coming to an end on December 31st while there is still a high demand for food due to COVID19. We are reaching out to members of our state and federal government to urge them to increase the USDA support so that we can get through this pandemic together.
Treasure Coast Food Bank is doing everything possible to continue to meet this challenge. Thank you for having faith in us and trusting us to deliver.
FARM-TO-FAMILIES FOOD BOX PROGRAM
What is the Farm-to-Families Food Box Program?
The USDA Farmers-to-Families Food Box Program aims to support local and regional businesses by purchasing and distributing agricultural products to communities in need. The initiative awards contracts to distributors whose operations have been significantly impacted by the closure of many restaurants, schools and other food service entities.
In Florida, this will provide about millions of dollars in much needed financial support to local distributors and farmers to bring food into our network. Local companies will work with the Treasure Coast Food Bank and other hunger-relief organizations to distribute emergency food boxes filled with fresh produce, dairy and meat in communities throughout the region.
When does the program begin?
Deliveries from many food distributors will start on Monday, May 18, 2020. Food box availability will vary, depending on your food assistance site’s operating hours and/or distribution schedule.
How long does the program last?
The initial ‘base period’ is set for six weeks, from May 15 to June 30. There will be three subsequent funding rounds, each lasting eight weeks —July to August, September to October and November to December, respectively. The USDA will make determinations about extensions to contracts throughout this time period and will notify us along the way.
Where can I receive food through this program?
Food is available across our network of 300 pantries and meal sites. We have expanded our network to include temporary COVID-19 Partners that are interested in participating in this program. Several school districts, faith-based organizations and other community partners have also expressed interest in participating in the food box initiative, with details to be determined in the coming weeks.
What types of products are in the food boxes?
Three types of boxes will be available, depending on location: one that prioritizes fresh produce, a second that provides a mix of dairy products, and a third that includes precooked meat. More details related to the type of products offered by partner companies coming soon.
How will this food be kept safe?
All of this food is temperature controlled for safety, and must kept out of the temperature ‘danger zone’. Each local food pantry, meal site or temporary partner will take its own steps regarding the safety of food boxes.