USDA is partnering with farmers, ranchers, specialty crop producers, food processors and distributors, and non-profit organizations to ensure that all Americans have access to the fresh and wholesome food they need during the COVID-19 national emergency.
Submitted by Jasper Lions
Volunteers from the Jasper Lions Club and First Baptist Church of Jasper will distribute a truck filled with 960 boxes of fresh produce on Friday, June 19 at First Baptist Church of Jasper, located at 198 East Church Street. This hunger and diabetes awareness and prevention relief effort will aid the general public as communities are re-opening following the COVID-19 crisis.
Lions Clubs in Georgia have partnered with Collins Brothers Produce of Forest Park, Ga. in this USDA Farmers to Families Food Box Program. Boxes going out currently are assorted with carrots, Idaho potatoes, sweet potatoes, onions, green cabbage, lettuce, lemons, yellow squash, apples, and oranges. There will be no dairy or meat products at this time.
As part of the Coronavirus Farm Assistance Program U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced on April 17 that USDA is exercising authority under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act to purchase and distribute agricultural products to those in need. Through this program, USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is partnering with national, regional and local suppliers, whose workforce has been significantly impacted by the closure of restaurants, hotels and other food service businesses, to purchase up to $3 billion in fresh produce, dairy and meat products. The program will purchase $461 million in fresh fruits and vegetables, $317 million in a variety of dairy products, $258 million in meat products and $175 million in a combination box of fresh produce, dairy or meat products. Suppliers will package these products totaling $1.2 billion into family-sized boxes, then transport them to food banks, community and faith-based organizations, and other non-profits serving Americans in need from May 15 through June 30, 2020. AMS may elect to extend the period of performance of the contracts, via option periods, dependent upon program success and available remaining funds, up to $3 billion.
The truck filled with fresh produce boxes will be coming to First Baptist Church of Jasper on Friday, June 19 from noon - 3 p.m. (or until all boxes have been distributed).
Folks are to remain inside their vehicles at the distribution sites while volunteers load one box per vehicle into the trunks or back seats. Volunteers will utilize masks, hand sanitizer, and practice social distancing.
Since 1968, LCIF has funded service work through personal financial gifts from Lions members and the general public. LCIF helps Lions improve peoples’ lives around the world, from combating vision problems to responding to major catastrophes to providing valuable life skills to youth, and much more. Learn more at lcif.org and lionsclubs.org.
“Where There’s a Need, There’s a Lion." Over 4,500 Lions Clubs members, from over 150 Lions Clubs in Georgia, constantly work together to serve our communities whether it is an emergency pandemic crisis like COVID-19 or ordinary issues with vision & hearing care, diabetes awareness and prevention, fighting hunger, battling childhood cancer, helping environmental causes, and many other humanitarian activities.