The Packer’s Tom Karst visited Aug 13 with Richard Owen, vice president of membership and engagement at the Produce Marketing Association.
Karst asked Owen about recent changes to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farmers to Families Food Box Program and the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program.
Owen said the Farmers to Families Food Box Program has recently allowed for somewhat greater flexibility for contractors in the third round of the program.
“Initially, we were told that you were going to need to partner with meat and dairy providers and offer combination boxes,” he said. “I think with the work of the industry, (the) USDA did come out say, yes, they will be receiving proposals again for produce only boxes. And I think that’s great news for our industry because our expertise is really in putting together and handling fruits and vegetables.”
Owen also talks about tweaks to the CFAP program, what the industry is seeking in the next coronavirus relief legislation and the work toward the 2020 virtual Fresh Summit for PMA.