( USDA )

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is offering a web seminar on April 21 to explain details of its “Buy Fresh” program funded through the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act will purchase and distribute up to $3 billion of agricultural products to those in need, including purchases of $100 million per month in fresh fruit and vegetable purchases over the next six months. The program is part of the USDA’s $19 billion Coronavirus Farm Assistance Program.

See The Packer's coverage of COVID-19


Web seminar details

The USDA’s web seminar is 2 p.m. Eastern April 21, and will provide an overview of the program and instructions for submitting offers, according to a news release. Registration for the event is available online

A recording of the web seminar will be available for those unable to participate.

E-mail questions about the program to [email protected]


Purchase program plans

USDA will partner with regional and local distributors to purchase $3 billion in fresh produce, dairy, and meat products, including $100 million per month in fresh fruits and vegetables, according to the release. The program will provide boxes of fresh produce, dairy, and meat products to food banks and other non-profits serving Americans in need.

In a media call April 17, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said the USDA wants to work with foodservice distributors to use their workforce to fill and deliver boxes of produce, dairy and protein to food banks and other distribution centers, rather than having to use labor at food banks to put the boxes together.

“We’re trying to make it as easy (for the food banks) to distribute the boxes,” he said.

In the release, the agency said it will solicit offers in the next two weeks to supply commodity boxes to non-profit organizations on a “mutually agreeable, recurring schedule.”

The USDA said it will award contracts to buy the agricultural products, the assembly of commodity boxes and delivery to identified non-profit organizations that can receive, store and distribute the food.

Related articles:

USDA unveils coronavirus assistance program

Hours of service waiver extended 


Submitted by Stephen Smith on Mon, 04/20/2020 - 18:11

Will there be funding set aside for any "proof of process" demonstration grant(s) to help local food banks / charities both learn and understand the distribution cycles and proesses? (This, I think, would have to include local volunteer organic growers as well as their distributions via churches, schools, etc.)