CityServe Nonprofit to Play an Essential Role in USDA Farmers to Families Food Box Program
May 20, 2020– CityServe-resourced churches in Kern County will play an essential role in the distribution of the United States Department (USDA) of Agriculture Farmers to Families Food Box Program, designed to provide fresh produce, meat, and dairy to families who are impacted the most by the shifted economy. The churches, also known as PODs (point of distribution), will receive thousands of food boxes in the coming weeks and more are anticipated. The first delivery is expected Thursday, May 21st at the CityServe Kern County HUB, 3201 F St. at 9 AM. PODs will begin taking the food boxes through the last mile—to the homes and on the tables of hungry families.
“There is so much more than food given away when the local church gets involved. It’s a network of caring people,” says Karl Hargestam, CityServe Executive Director. “We are excited to assist and facilitate the last mile from farmer to family, across the country.”
CityServe Supply Chain:
USDA-approved suppliers will deliver food boxes to warehouse distribution centers known as HUBs, who receive, store, and distribute food boxes to PODs. CityServe PODs will hand out food boxes to the most vulnerable in their neighborhoods.
CityServe Kern County is leading the way for the nation since it’s launch in March 2019. As it continues to expand with local PODs, the network is also extending throughout the nation with additional HUBs and PODs. With support from the White House and the United States Department of Agriculture, their interest to see the food box distribution effectively executed has helped the CityServe collaborative network of churches and leaders become an unmatched resource. This network provides an unparalleled establishment of churches that are committed to helping people who need it the most.
The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have caused many families to lose jobs and resources, which in turn has left them insecure and hopeless. Local churches are ready to respond and meet the needs of the hopeless with more than just food boxes, but also with long-lasting relationships that lead to radical transformation.
About USDA Farmers to Families Food Box Program
On April 17, 2020, the USDA announced the program as part of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program developed to help farmers, ranchers, and consumers in response to the COVID-19 national emergency. On May 8, 2020, the USDA approved $1.2 billion in contracts to suppliers for meat, produce, and dairy packaging and distribution to food banks, nonprofit and faith-based organizations.
Additional information on the Farmers to Families Food Box Program, including webinars and an FAQs, is available at https://www.ams.usda.gov/selling-food