USDA’s temporary Farmers to Families Food Box Program delivered 176.4 million food boxes from May 2020 through May 2021
In response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Federal government passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). FFCRA authorized USDA to create the Farmers to Families Food Box Program (Food Box Program), along with several other programs, to support the agricultural sector and help families experiencing food hardship. Through the Food Box Program, USDA contracted with intermediaries to purchase fresh fruits, vegetables, dairy products, and meat produced in the United States; package these agricultural commodities into family-sized boxes; and transport these boxes to food banks and other charitable organizations for distribution to families in need. The program awarded contracts in five rounds of varying lengths and food boxes were delivered from May 15, 2020, through May 31, 2021, when the program expired. During its year of operation, the program delivered a total of 176.4 million food boxes at a cost of about $5.5 billion. Of all the food boxes delivered, 101.8 million were delivered in rounds 1 and 2 of the program, roughly corresponding to the last 5 months of fiscal year (FY) 2020, and 74.6 million were delivered in rounds 3 through 5, roughly corresponding to the first 8 months of FY 2021. This chart is based on a chart in the USDA, Economic Research Service’s The Food and Nutrition Assistance Landscape: Fiscal Year 2021 Annual Report.
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