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USDA "Farmers to Families" program benefiting Wiregrass

Food boxes at the Mary Hill Service Center for the Farmers to Families Food Box Programs
Food boxes at the Mary Hill Service Center for the Farmers to Families Food Box Programs(WTVY News 4)
Published: Jun. 11, 2020 at 7:03 PM CDT
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The USDA announced the Farmers to Families Food Box program as part of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.

Mary Hill Family Service Center is always trying to assist families with any needs they might have.

"It started with an email - newsletter/email of some sort and just started seeing the words 'Farmers to Families Food Box Program' - what's that?" said Resource Development Director at Mary Hill Family Service Center Laura Bruce.

After researching, Laura began to call around and many farmers were already giving to food banks, community and faith-based organizations, and other non-profits, but: "Finally got a wonderful yes from Stephen Allen from Regional Produce in Birmingham to provide us with 500 boxes weekly of fresh produce vegetables and fruits from now through December,” Bruce added.

Now every Thursday for the next six months families can get a box that comes off a truck from Regional Produce and for the next few months a local organization will be helping offload these boxes.

"We ask no questions,” said Program Director at Mary Hill Family Service Center Paige Knight. “We just distribute the boxes, so the boys and girls club came, and they helped unload the truck and they also would give out the boxes and we would ask the families where they wanted it."

With the prices of many grocery items increasing due to supply and demand, people are left shorthanded with food.

"Produce is very expensive in the grocery store so we've had a lot of seniors to come by and then we've also people who work at daycare centers to come get a few boxes too so that they can give to the kids since the daycare's have just opened up as well," Knight explained.

The kindness does not stop there.

"We also have some great volunteers actually bring the boxes to elderly who can't make it to the line and the line starts pretty early too so that line forms and we serve and once the boxes are gone they're gone but volunteers have definitely been stepping on and taking the boxes to people who can't make it here," Bruce said.

Again, boxes are distributed at the Mary Hill Family Service Center every Thursday only while they last.

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