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USDA announces fourth round of Farmers to Families Food Box Program

Taken from a USDA news release

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced it has authorized $500 million for a fourth round of purchases for the USDA Farmers to Families Food Box Program. USDA is issuing solicitations for the fourth round to existing Basic Ordering Agreement (BOA) holders and expects to award contracts by Oct. 30 for deliveries of food boxes from Nov. 1 through Dec. 31, 2020.

In the fourth round, as in the third round, states have been allocated boxes based on the internal need of the state. The program will continue the purchase of combination boxes to include fresh produce, dairy products, fluid milk and meat products. The program also will continue to require that proposals illustrate how coverage would be provided to areas identified as opportunity zones, detail subcontracting agreements, and address the “last mile” delivery of product into the hands of the food insecure population. Entities who meet the government’s requirements and specifications will be issued agreements and submit pricing through a competitive acquisition process.

Background: The third round of Farmers to Families Food Box program was announced July 24, 2020.

USDA announced contracts for the third round on Sept. 17, 2020, and has purchased more than $2.981 billion worth of food, to date.

In the second round of purchasing and distribution, which began July 1 and ended on Sep. 18, 2020, USDA purchased more than $1.763 billion of food through extended contracts of select vendors from the first round of the program. It also issued new contracts focused on Opportunity Zones in order to direct food to reach underserved areas, places where either no boxes have yet been delivered, or where boxes are being delivered, but where there is additional need.

The first round of purchases occurred from May 15 through June 30, 2020, and saw more than 35.5 million boxes delivered in the first 45 days. Updates to the number of food boxes verified as delivered will continue to be displayed on the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) website, with breakdowns by performance period on the Farmers to Families Food Box Program page.

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