Today, USDA announced it will invest an additional $500-$700 million in the Farmers to Families Food Box Program, extending through the end of October 2020. The solicitation can be found here. United Fresh understands that some key components of this third round include:
- All interested companies are invited to submit a proposal and will be considered. Current existing contracts will not be extended, although existing contractors are invited to apply. All proposals will be considered equally.
- USDA anticipates funding mostly combination boxes, including fresh produce, dairy and meat. These commodities may be packed in different boxes, with produce estimated to weigh about 20 pounds.
- USDA will give priority for proposals containing a variety of both fruits and vegetables.
- The proposal process will last for approximately a month, with awards given on a rolling basis – allowing more time than the original bid period.
- Companies proposing contracts will need to have clear agreements with their nonprofit partners for ensuring that the food boxes are delivered directly to consumers, not dropped off in bulk at food banks or other nonprofits.
A “USDA Farmers to Families Food Box Program – The Next Phase” Webinar will be held on July 28, 2020, at 3 pm EDT. The webinar will discuss technical details of the proposals for the next round of purchases for the Farmers to Families Food Box Program.Register here.
The Farmers to Families Program has delivered 46.7 million boxes since May 15 representing the largest fresh produce purchase in USDA history.
More information on the program can be found on the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) Farmers to Families website. If you have additional questions or need assistance, please contact Mollie Van Lieu at firstname.lastname@example.org.