Ernst Makes 99 County Tour Stop in Warren County, Sees USDA’s Farmers to Families Food Box Program in Action

Joined by Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig, Ernst visited Capital City Fruit in Norwalk to learn more about their efforts to assist local food pantries and families in need during COVID-19.

NORWALK, Iowa—As part of her 99 County Tour for 2020, U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA), joined by Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig, visited Capital City Fruit in Norwalk today to learn more about their efforts to assist local food pantries and families in need during COVID-19. Senator Ernst and Secretary Naig met with Capital City Fruit leadership and heard firsthand about their success utilizing the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Farmers to Families Food Box program.

“Capital City Fruit has stepped up during COVID-19—utilizing USDA’s Farmers to Families Food Box program to get fresh produce to Iowans in need. It was great to join Secretary Naig in Norwalk today to see this important program in action,” said Senator Ernst, chairman of the Senate Agriculture Subcommittee on Rural Development and Energy.

 

Click here to download and/or watch a video on their visit.

 

Background:

As part of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program Secretary Perdue announced that USDA is exercising authority under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act to purchase and distribute agricultural products to those in need. Through this program, USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is partnering with national, regional and local suppliers, whose workforce has been significantly impacted by the closure of restaurants, hotels and other food service businesses, to purchase up to $3 billion in fresh produce, dairy and meat products. The program will purchase $461 million in fresh fruits and vegetables, $317 million in a variety of dairy products, $258 million in meat products and $175 million in a combination box of fresh produce, dairy or meat products. Suppliers will package these products totaling $1.2 billion into family-sized boxes, then transport them to food banks, community and faith-based organizations, and other non-profits serving Americans in need from May 15 through June 30, 2020. AMS may elect to extend the period of performance of the contracts, via option periods, dependent upon program success and available remaining funds, up to $3 billion.

 

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