The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced it has authorized $500 million for a fourth round of purchases for the USDA Farmers to Families Food Box Program. For this fourth round, USDA is issuing solicitations to existing Basic Ordering Agreement holders and expects to award contracts by Oct. 30 for deliveries of food boxes from Nov. 1 through Dec. 31, 2020.
USDA stated that 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 program also will continue to require that proposals illustrate how coverage would 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. Entities who meet the government’s requirements and specifications will be issued agreements and submit pricing through a competitive acquisition process.
“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. We recently surpassed 110 million boxes delivered, and millions more are headed to Americans in need,” U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue said. “I’m very pleased that we are able to extend this program and continue our relief efforts for American farmers and families.”
The program is a critical tool established in April by the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program, the initiative created a new distribution channel for the fresh produce industry to deliver food to those in need. To date, the program has distributed over 110 million boxes of food worth $2.98B in purchases.
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