FOX VALLEY AREA REGIONAL NEWS: Calumet County, Fond du Lac County, Outagamie County, Winnebago County

Federal Government pulls the plug on Farm to Families Food Box Program, local pantries prepare for influx


APPLETON, Wis. (WFRV) – The Federal Government is citing inefficiencies as the reason for shutting down the ‘Farm to Families Food Program.’

The American Farm Bureau Federation [AFBF] was surprised to hear the news.

AFBF President Zippy Duvall said, “More than 150 million food boxes were produced and helped America’s families suffering from the hardships caused by COVID-19. The need is still there.” [Full statement found here.]

Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin distributed countless socially distant boxes during the pandemic.

Lisa Endl, Director of Communications for Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin, said “Farmers to Families Food Boxes were really a program that came about due to the coronavirus pandemic. We saw a really huge increase in need.”

They expect more people will turn to food pantries but say need is slowly declining.

“Luckily we also have a network of nearly 400 pantries across our 35 county footprint that really are kind of poised and ready for any increase in demand that they’re going to see due to this change,” said Endl.

St. Joseph’s Food Program is encouraging anyone that might be facing food insecurity to reach out because they say they have enough fresh and nonperishable foods for anyone that needs them.

Monica Clare, the Executive Director, said “We were getting them at the beginning of the pandemic, like last summer, and then that came to an end and we didn’t get them again. So we’re doing just fine.”

The Farm Bureau also said, “We look forward to continue working with Secretary Vilsack and learn how USDA plans to address the heightened need at food banks while providing a destination for the fresh, healthy food being produced by farm families across the country.”

If you are in need of food assistance you can sign up for a St. Joseph’s card here.

You can learn more about Feeding America’s other opportunities here.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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