Photos Courtesy of USD 231
More than 233,000 meals had been served by the USD 231 nutritional services between March 23 and June 1.
And on June 1, district employees also handed out the first round of Farms to Families produce and dairy boxes with meal kits. This USDA grant program provides additional product at no charge to distribute to families. The food in these boxes varies and is intended to support local businesses and farmers who would have otherwise sold this product to restaurants and other institutional outlets.
At the national/state level as part of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program it was announced in April that USDA would 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.