Our nation’s food distribution system changed overnight as the full impact of the pandemic began to settle into our economy. The federal government created the Farmers to Families Food Box Program to help farmers, ranchers, and food industry partners. The program allowed the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to buy produce, dairy, and meat products that had been destined for closed restaurants, businesses, and schools. The food was then redirected to food banks and community-based organizations. The program uniquely benefited food producers and Americans affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Within days of the program launching, Marion Polk Food Share galvanized its staff and team of volunteers to distribute this much-needed food to our community. The Food Share partnered with Pacific Coast Fruit Company and Darigold to provide almost 4,000 food boxes throughout Marion and Polk counties each week.
The program created unique logistical challenges for the Food Share. Our distribution systems were adapted to ensure the fresh, high quality food could reach families as quickly as possible. We utilized distribution sites created in partnership with Salem-Keizer Public Schools, key community partners, and our own warehouse to maximize the reach to individuals and families throughout the region at 15 different locations. The new resources needed to expedite this food distribution were possible thanks to continued community support from generous friends like you.
As the number in need grows, the importance of providing fresh, nutritious food becomes even greater. The food boxes are available to anyone in need and there is no income requirement. In addition, all distribution is done with the safety of the community in mind. Food boxes are distributed in a “drive through” style. Volunteers maintain adequate social distance and place food boxes directly in the client’s trunk.
The program is expected to continue through the end of year. Your support makes extra efforts like this possible. Thank you!
Thank you for your ongoing support!