$3 Billion Coronavirus Relief Program to Aid Food Banks and Food Distributors

USDA announced the details of a new, $3 Billion Coronavirus relief program for growers, producers, and families facing the economic effects of COVID-19.

The Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) will deliver boxes of dairy, produce and meat through an open solicitation to local and regional food distributors, who must partner with food banks or other local nonprofits to distribute the food. USDA will spend at least $300 million per month for six months on produce, meat, and dairy products. There are no eligibility restrictions (such as income) for the people who receive food boxes.

 This “truck to trunk” model is designed to meet the current need for social distancing and the dearth of volunteers at many organizations.

“This additional food will be critical to feeding families in every corner of Texas,” said Celia Cole, CEO of Feeding Texas. “We encourage all bidders to partner with Texas food banks to make it a success.”

The new program aims to keep workers in the food industry employed, reduce food waste streams, and provide food to families by harnessing the capacity of underutilized food distributors to source, create and ship food boxes to local nonprofits. Food banks can provide the logistics, food safety, and distribution expertise to make sure that the perishable food safely makes it into the hands of those most affected by COVID-19

“We urge all Texas companies interested in this opportunity to partner with our network,” said Cole. “Collectively, we can make sure this food reaches every community in Texas.”

Feeding Texas’ twenty-one member food banks serve every county in Texas (see map below). Interested parties should contact their local food bank or Jamie Olson, jolson@feedingtexas.org.

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