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Packer Interview – Houston Food Bank reports on the ‘Buy Fresh’ program

The Packer’s Tom Karst visited April 24 with Sabrina Bosiacki, agriculture industry manager for the Houston Food Bank, about the  promise of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Buy Fresh Program.

“The amount of need that we’re seeing right now is unprecedented,” Bosiacki said. “Just two days ago (April 22), we distributed 1.3 million pounds of food in a single day, which far surpasses our old record that we had attained post-hurricane Harvey; so we’ve never seen anything like this before since we became a food bank in the 80s.”

She said the Houston Food Bank is “incredibly excited” about the Buy Fresh program, in which the USDA will contract with distributors to supply food banks and other feeding organization with about $100 million worth of produce each month in the form of produce boxes, along with similar amounts of dairy and precooked meat.

“This is going to be perfect for us,” Bosiacki said. “One of our challenges that we’re facing right now as we’re working to distribute more food to our clients is that with a lack of volunteers because of social distancing norms, we really are struggling to be able to prepare the boxes of mixed food that we’re trying to distribute; it is really critical right now that we have access to easily distributed products, especially these mixed boxes.”

Bosiacki said the Houston Food Bank is ready to work with distributors who win contracts with the USDA.

Source: The Packer
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