Mann express concern over ending of Farmers to Families Food Box Program

U.S. Rep. Tracey Mann, R-KS, and 21 House Republicans sent a letter to U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack expressing concerns over the cancellation of the Farmers to Families Food Box Program.

"Our farmers and ranchers are the backbone of our nation’s food supply," said Mann, a member of the House Agriculture Committee. "The Farmers to Families Food Box Program came from bipartisan COVID-19 relief funding aimed at helping our agriculture supply chain and providing food for vulnerable populations during the COVID-19 pandemic."

The Farmers to Families Food Box Program was designed to respond to market disruption caused by COVID-19 and feed hungry communities. In one short year, and under several different authorities and bipartisan relief packages from Congress, USDA purchased produce, dairy, and meat products from American producers of all sizes. Distributors packaged these products into family-sized boxes, then transported them to food banks, community and faith-based organizations, and other non-profit organizations to feed people in need. To date, the program has delivered more than 157 million boxes of food to communities in all 50 states and multiple tribal nations and territories.

On April 14, Vilsack announced his intent to cancel the program. The letter highlights examples of the program’s accomplishments.

In Kansas, Topeka Rescue Mission Ministries distributed more than 100,000 food boxes, serving over 2,500 individuals weekly. While in Iowa, the Northwest Iowa Food Bank distributed over 62,000 boxes, equating to nearly 1.2 million meals. The Arrowhead Economic Opportunity Agency in Minnesota distributed over 75,000 boxes to over 30,000 families and L&M Farms in Florida supplied more than 600,000 boxes of fresh produce, equating to 9 million pounds of food to individuals and families in need.