HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - On Monday, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced an extension of the Farmers to Families Food Box Program.
This means USDA will purchase an additional $1.5 billion worth of food for nationwide distribution.
In total, USDA has distributed more than 132 million food boxes since the program kicked off in May.
In this fifth round, USDA will again purchase combination boxes of fresh produce, dairy products, milk, meat and seafood from local distributors suffering due to the pandemic. Those boxes will then be transported to food banks and non-profits across the nation.
Shirley Schofield, the Executive Director of the Food Bank of North Alabama hopes her team can stay involved considering the growing demand for food in the area.
In fact, she said the food bank has seen an increase of double and in some areas quadruple the number of people seeking help.
“We were able to distribute over 1 and a half million pounds of food just in December alone to people who need it in this community, through our network of partners,” Schofield said. “1.5 million is a lot of food to be getting out to the community, so that shows that the need is still there and it’s continuing to grow so it’s very important to have programs like this and others that can really try to meet that growing need.”
In 2020 alone, the food bank and its network of partners distributed more than 11 million meals across the Valley. That’s a record, according to Schofield.