Greg thinks the USDA's food box cancellation is political, Pamela thinks it's because the program wasn't doing enough. Is there a right answer?
Statement by United Fresh: On behalf of the millions of Americans who gained access to healthy fresh produce throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we are deeply disappointed in USDA’s decision to end the food box program.
The Biden administration hinted that the Farmers to Families Food Box program may end, and USDA confirmed it.
United Fresh Produce Association’s Produce Box Working Group presented USDA with a set of 30 recommendations that would help guide a new program around produce food boxes.
USDA communications director Matt Herrick said AMS told contract holders last week that it will continue to administer contracts through the end of April, as was budgeted when the original round five was announced in January.
With President Biden’s Agriculture Secretary nomination Tom Vilsack expected to be confirmed Feb. 23, it’s worth looking at what we’ll see at the start of his leadership.
Liberty Fruit’s Round 5 contract serves Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska, at $10.1 million for 318,000 boxes through the end of February. McClelland says he’s hopeful it will be renewed, as the USDA plans to fund the program through the end of April.
Portland, OR-based Pacific Coast Fruit has acquired rival Northwest Specialty Produce, Inc., Seattle.
Pamela and Greg talk food boxes and the FDA’s investigation into last fall’s E. coli outbreaks. …
In analysis of the contracts for Round 5, it’s clear USDA has prioritized low prices more than in previous rounds, as the average per box price is about $30 in the continental U.S.