MISSOULA – COVID-19 pandemic has a huge negative impact on farmers, food distributors, and families.

The USDA has developed a new program via the Internet First Family Coronavirus Response Acting to combat the problem of food insecurity and loss of business due to coronavirus.

This program aims to buy and distribute agricultural products to those in need.

Under USDA Secretary Bill Northey and US Representative Greg Gianforte (R-MT) paid special visits on Monday Missoula Food Bank, where the program has taken off.

Known as Farmer Food Box Program for Families, The USDA collects food from farmers and distributes it to families in need with the help of national, regional and local distributors.

Around 800 boxes are distributed every week at Missoula Food Bank as a supplement to food that is readily available to food bank customers.

“Some of that is food that works in this model now and also supports our local ag and regional ag suppliers,” said Missoula Food Bank executive director Aaron Brock.

“Being part of the system keeps the farmers operating and profitable, and keeps high-quality food for people who need it in this community, it’s just a total win-win,” he added.

The state of Montana will receive almost 36,000 food boxes through the Farmer Food Box for Families program in the next three weeks.

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