Tag Archives: the farmer

Lunch Box Program: Success or a Mess? | Main Edition | Instant News


Depending on which law maker you ask, the USDA lunch box program is a win-win for farmers and people in need – or it is a futile mess.

The Farmer Food Box Program for Families, created with stimulus money in response to the coronavirus pandemic, has sent more than 46 million boxes since mid-May.

“What has been achieved is really worth celebrating,” Rep said. Dusty Johnson, top Republican at the House Nutrition, Supervision, and Department Operations Subcommittee.

But the program was also slammed for giving contracts to companies with little food distribution experience, such as Texas wedding planners, and because of inefficiency and poor record keeping.

“It’s full of waste, fraud and abuse,” Rep said. Marcia Fudge, D-Ohio, who heads the subcommittee.

At a July 21 hearing, USDA deputy minister Greg Ibach said the program must be launched quickly this spring.

Farmers plow under products and discard milk that suddenly loses their market when the food service business closes, and thousands of unemployed people who are on the rise need food.

The lunch box program gives companies contracts to package food boxes and distribute them to non-profit organizations such as food banks, who often distribute packages at large drive-thru events.

Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue has visited several of these events, such as advisor to president Ivanka Trump, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan and Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

In the first two rounds of USDA food purchases, the boxes included fresh products, milk or meat. In the third round, which will begin shipping September 1, the box will display a combination of these items.

Contractors are encouraged to buy food from local and regional farmers, and are paid only for the boxes they actually deliver, Ibach said.

After receiving the first round of contracts, the USDA spent $ 218 million to increase the availability of lunch boxes in areas in the country that were left behind, he said.

The USDA plans to use the $ 3 billion program allocation until October 31.

After visiting distribution locations in Philadelphia, New Jersey and Cleveland, Ibach was pleased with the food that came into the box.

He remembers one that offers 15 different items. Milk boxes containing milk, cottage cheese, several types of block cheese and yogurt.

“There are many variations,” Ibach said.

Rep. Austin Scott, R-Ga., Also impressed.

“That is exactly what people with unlimited resources, if they go to the best grocery store in America, will buy and bring home to feed their families,” he said.

There are a few exceptions.

Eric Cooper, president and CEO of San Antonio Food Bank, said some product boxes did not get enough air, causing the contents to rot before they could be distributed.

And instead of holding a mixture of items, several boxes of meat contain five boxes of 5 pounds of labeled chicken pepper for commercial use.

“We have to reach out to producers, who are in California, to get heating instructions to put in all the boxes that we distribute,” Cooper said.

While the program has been a success as a whole, many food banks must raise funds to support the program, he said.

The USDA aims to save several nonprofit organizations by increasing the explanation of rules, Ibach said.

Food banks have the power to tell distributors what they want in the box, when they want delivery, and how they will receive it.

Nonprofits don’t even have to provide cold storage for boxes if they don’t want to, but adding provisions may interfere with the contractor’s ability to provide the expected number of boxes, Ibach said.

In contrast to the Additional Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, the lunch box program does not currently require recipients to indicate needs. Anyone who appears can be served.

The decision was made to help deliver aid on time, a USDA spokesman said.

The contractor must submit an invoice showing the number and contents of the box and proof of delivery, but the group that distributed the food did not have reporting requirements.

While the rules facilitate the distribution of food, Fudge sees opportunities for people who don’t need to get free lunch.

“Who gets food? … Do you pay someone to really give it to people who are supposed to have it? We don’t have that answer, “he said.

Scott doubts that cheating is a big problem.

“The majority of the people in the line for a long time will not wait if they don’t need food,” he said.

Starting September 1, distributors must declare that their non-profit partners can ensure that only people in need get lunch boxes, a USDA spokesman said.

Fudge believes that simply increasing SNAP funding might be better than creating a lunch box program.

“Even people who are poor or starving still have dignity, and they must be allowed to buy and feed their families what they choose,” Fudge said.

Johnson agreed that SNAP could be used to meet some increased demand, but given the problems with the grocery store supply chain at the beginning of the pandemic, it was not a complete answer.

“We’ve talked about the farmers who throw milk. They don’t throw milk because there is no demand. They dispose of milk because the traditional distribution system is broken, “he said.

Jahana Hayes’s representative, D-Conn., Asked why the program did not have quotas to buy from small farmers, minorities and beginners.

Ibach said the USDA had held a webinar to help farmers learn how to sell to the program, and the emphasis on local food might have helped small farmers.

But in the end, he said, “implementing the program quickly is one of our main considerations.”

Some Republicans complain that looking into the lunch box program is interrupted from more important work.

“Instead of continuing to carry out a very successful program, we must turn our attention to supporting American farmers and ranchers during this difficult time,” said Representative Michael Conaway, R-Texas.

.



image source

Washington food bank helps hungry farmers and families Business | Instant News


George Ahearn had heard about farmers in East Washington distributing potatoes and onions and wanted to know if someone had a truck he could borrow to transport agricultural produce thrown to the West Washington food bank.

The response is immediate and dramatic. A convoy of four trucks, including two with trailers, traveled east, helping provide enough prizes for the local food bank.

“We brought back 9.36 tons when my initial goal was 2,000 pounds (one ton),” Ahearn said.

The effort did not end there. EastWest Food Rescue is now a registered non-profit organization, sending more than 2.4 million pounds of plants to more than 160 food banks. Not only does it help with food security, but the organization pays farmers, who see the market for some of their crops disappear during the coronavirus pandemic.

“Everything started because of COVID,” said Nancy Balin, who answered Ahearn’s initial request and is now one of three program directors. “They immediately lost all the restaurant contracts they had for this restaurant’s quality potatoes and onions. And because European countries were closed, they didn’t export because their restaurants were closed.

“When COVID happened, 2020 potatoes were on the ground and 2019 potatoes were in cold storage. The problem is, when the 2020 potatoes are finished, the 2019 potatoes are better lost or there is no place for the 2020 potatoes to go. And that’s where farmers are faced with this terrible choice to destroy 2019 potatoes so that 2020 can go in there or let 2020 rot in the fields and plow it. “

Meanwhile, unemployment increased rapidly everywhere, along with the need for food.

“People who have never needed food before needing a food bank, and these farmers have potatoes that they have to get rid of,” Balin said.

Ahearn, who grew up in the farming town of Othello, Washington, but now lives in Bothell, read a story about the difficulties of farmers in his hometown, encouraging him to want to do something. So he contacted Terragold Farms in his hometown.

“The owner of AJ Ochoa offers five semi-potatoes (potatoes),” Ahearn said. “I said, ‘I have a private vehicle, and I can’t take it.’ He said, ‘Just come get what you need.’ “

Ahearn contacted the food bank, and while they wanted potatoes, along with the onions donated by Target AG Production at Othello, they couldn’t take them off and not in the bag.

That’s when Zsofia Pasztor, founder and owner of Farmer Frog, a non-profit organization that allows children and families to grow food for themselves, entered.

He offers crates to enter the product, and already has a distribution system that is regulated by the food bank for other programs that he runs.

“That is a natural fit, and here we have saved 2 million pounds (yields),” Pasztor said.

EastWest Food Rescue has grown significantly since the initial convoy in early May. Ahearn, Balin and Pasztor are founders and directors. Ahearn, with his contacts in the food industry, handles acquisitions. Pasztor oversees packaging and shipping from his garden in Woodinville, Washington, and Balin handles all operational details.

“Everything is very organic and lives its own life immediately,” said Balin, who is the president of the organization. “Now we have voluntary staff and are not paid at all from around 11 main people who do various aspects. We have about 500 email addresses, and half are volunteers and the other half are donors. “

Ahearn now works with many farms in East Washington. It was important for him “that I didn’t ask my farming community where I grew up to give their products for free.”

“We will take it if they want to give it for free, but I always want to find out from farmers what their needs are, what their costs are, and at least try to cover their costs,” Ahearn said.

Most of the donations are used to pay farmers.

When the organization starts, potatoes and onions are harvested. Now the harvest is turning to fruit.

“The need (for money) is even worse because the fruit needs to be refrigerated,” Balin said. “And until now, we still don’t have the cooling capacity. So our biggest need besides funding is cold storage, for fruit, milk and eggs. “

Ahearn said he wanted to quit when the organization reached 70,000 pounds of products saved so he could spend more time with his family and other businesses.

“At that time, I was finished, but they showed me the community and the people who needed it, and the community that said, ‘You can’t stop,'” he said. “This is an amazing and eye-opening experience about the real needs we experience. I am much more familiar with the problem of food insecurity in our region and in our state. “

The goal now is 10 million pounds of food saved, which according to Balin will require a donation of $ 250,000 in addition to hundreds of voluntary hours for packaging and shipping.

“Between now and August, we are pretty sure that we will move 300-plus thousand pounds per week,” Ahearn said. “I know I have this connection in my (farmer’s) left hand and this need in my right (food insecurity) and it’s just a matter of connecting the dots.”

The results were satisfying for Balin, who answered Ahearn’s original request because he had a truck.

“It’s incredible and easy, the most important thing I’ve ever done in my life,” said Balin, who worries about worse food shortages as coronavirus cases continue to rise.

Pasztor said it was very important for the organization to achieve its goals.

“That must happen,” he said. “We must continue to buy food because if not, we will not have farmers.”

.



image source

How Sending Surplus Crops to Food Banks Helps Washington Farmers and Hungry Families | Public | Instant News


It began with a simple message on Facebook on April 29.

George Ahearn had heard about farmers in East Washington distributing potatoes and onions and wanted to know if someone had a truck he could borrow to transport agricultural produce thrown to the West Washington food bank.

The response is immediate and dramatic. A convoy of four trucks, including two with trailers, traveled east, helping provide enough prizes for the local food bank.

“We brought back 9.36 tons when my initial goal was 2,000 pounds (one ton),” Aheard said.

The effort did not end there. EastWest Food Rescue is now a registered non-profit organization, has sent more than 2.3 million pounds of plants to more than 160 food banks. Not only does it help with food security, but the organization pays farmers, who see the market for some of their crops disappear during the coronavirus pandemic.

“Everything started because of COVID,” said Nancy Balin, who answered Ahearn’s initial request and is now one of three program directors. “They immediately lost all the restaurant contracts they had for this restaurant’s quality potatoes and onions. And because European countries were closed, they didn’t export because their restaurant was closed.

“When COVID occurred, 2020 potatoes were on the ground and 2019 potatoes were in cold storage. The problem was, when

Potatoes 2020 is finished, potatoes 2019 should go or there is no place for potatoes 2020. And that’s where farmers are faced with this terrible choice to destroy 2019 potatoes so that the 2020s can go in there or let the 2020s rot in the fields and hijack it. “

Meanwhile, unemployment increased rapidly everywhere, along with the need for food.

“People who have never needed food before needing a food bank, and these farmers have potatoes that they have to get rid of,” Balin said.

Ahearn, who grew up in the farming town of Othello about 65 miles northeast of Yakima but now lives in Bothell, read a story about the difficulties of farmers in his hometown, encouraging him to want to do something. So he contacted Terragold Farms in his hometown.

“The owner of AJ Ochoa offers five semi-potatoes (potatoes),” Ahearn said. “I said, ‘I have a private vehicle, and I can’t take it.’ He said, ‘Just come get what you need.’ “

Ahearn contacted the food bank, and while they wanted potatoes, along with the onions donated by Target AG Production at Othello, they couldn’t take them off and not in the bag.

That’s when Zsofia Pasztor, founder and owner of Farmer Frog, a non-profit organization that allows children and families to grow food for themselves, comes in.

He offers crates to enter the product, and already has a distribution system that is regulated by the food bank for other programs that he runs.

“That is a natural fit, and here we have saved 2 million pounds (yields),” Pasztor said.

EastWest Food Rescue has grown significantly since the initial convoy in early May. Ahearn, Balin and Pasztor are founders and directors. Ahearn, with his contacts in the food industry, handles acquisitions, Pasztor oversees packaging and shipping from his farm in Woodinville, and Balin handles all operational details.

“Everything is very organic and lives its own life immediately,” said Balin, who is the president of the organization. “Now we have completely voluntary and unpaid staff consisting of 11 main people who carry out various aspects. We have around 500 email addresses and half are volunteers and half are donors.”

Ahearn now works with many farms in East Washington.

It was important to him “that I did not ask my farming community that I was raised to provide their products for free.”

“We will take it if they want to give it away for free, but I always want to find out from farmers what their needs are, what their costs are, and at least try to cover their costs,” Ahearn said.

Most of the donations are used to pay farmers.

When the organization starts, potatoes and onions are harvested. Now the harvest is turning to fruit.

“The need (for money) is even worse because the fruit needs to be refrigerated,” Balin said. “And until now, we still don’t have the cooling capacity. So our biggest need besides funding is cold storage, for fruit, milk and eggs.”

Ahearn said he wanted to quit when the organization reached 70,000 pounds of products saved so he could spend more time with his family and other businesses.

“At that time, I was finished, but they showed me the community and the people who needed it, and it was the community that said, ‘You can’t stop,'” he said. “This is an amazing and eye-opening experience about the needs we experience. I am far more accustomed to the problem of food insecurity in our region and in our country.”

The goal now is 10 million pounds of food saved, which according to Balin will require a donation of $ 250,000 in addition to hundreds of voluntary hours for packaging and shipping.

“Between now and August, we are pretty sure that we will move 300-plus thousand pounds per week,” Ahearn said. “I know I have this connection in my (farmer’s) left hand and this need in my right (food insecurity) and it’s just a matter of connecting the dots.”

The results were satisfying for Balin, who answered Ahearn’s original request because he had a truck.

“This is the most extraordinary and easily the most important thing I have ever done in my life,” said Balin, who worries about worse food shortages as coronavirus virus cases continue to increase. Pasztor said it was very important for the organization to achieve its goals.

“That must happen,” he said. “We must continue to buy food because if not, we will not have farmers.”

.



image source

275 people serving in the CAPWN food distribution | Local News | Instant News


A line of cars drove to 10th Street from Twin City Drive on Friday morning as people waited for food distributed by volunteers and staff at the Community Action Partnership of West Nebraska (CAPWN) for the second week of the Farmers to Families food box program.

Sarah Ochoa, director of public health services for CAPWN, said food was provided by a federal program to ensure farmers did not need to dump food due to COVID-19 disruption to the market. The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has the authority to buy milk, meat and produce up to $ 3 billion and distribute food throughout the country.

Ochoa said that volunteers and CAPWN staff will continue to distribute food in the Farmers to Families program for the next four days, and return to distribution once a month after that.

“Obviously, there is a need in the community,” he said. “We don’t see the same people every week, which is a good thing, people come when they need them.”

According to their website, the USDA spent $ 1.2 billion on 35.4 million lunch boxes from mid-May to the end of June, and the ongoing second round estimated the department to spend $ 1.47 billion on food, until the end of August. Ochoa said CAPWN worked with a food distributor in North Platte, Cash-Wa Distributing Co. Inc.

Ochoa said people started queuing at 7am waiting for food distribution starting at 8am. At 9:30 in the morning, all food was distributed. What remains, according to the Star-Herald count, is the drivers in 40 vehicles that have been waiting in line to leave empty-handed.

Ochoa said CAPWN will work with distributors to order additional food for distribution next week.

“We hate kicking people out, but the good thing is that we do it every week,” he said. “If someone really needs food today, I want them to call our food pantry and make an appointment at 308-635-3089. We don’t want anyone to leave without food. “

Ochoa said the volunteers and staff distributed 275 boxes with fresh food such as fruits, vegetables, milk and meat along with half a gallon of milk. Last week, they served 424 people.

Volunteers included members of the basketball and wrestling team from Gering High School. Basketball Head Coach Kyle Cotton said the team liked to do voluntary projects for the summer, and they heard about the opportunities from parents.

“With everything that’s happened, we haven’t been able to get out very much this summer, but it’s good to give back,” he said.

Many who waited in line did not want to be identified, citing the stigma of receiving food aid, but some expressed frustration with the process.

“I wish there was a sign, you know, so we don’t have to wait for no reason,” one woman said.

Alicia Molina, who waited half an hour before being turned down at the end of the call, said getting food help helped her family.

“Without childcare, children are at home all the time, and they eat more at home, so this helps us feed everyone,” he said.

We are always interested in hearing about news in our community. Tell us what happened!



.



image source

Prime Minister Imran Khan urged to provide compensation to farmers who were engulfed by locusts | Instant News


MULTAN: Pakistan’s Kissan Ittehad (PKI) on Wednesday urged Prime Minister Imran Khan to compensate farmers, whose crops were affected by locust attacks.

Speaking with reporters, PKI president Khalid Khokhar said that the PKI had begun warning the government eight months earlier when grasshoppers first appeared in agriculture after traveling from the Indian desert.

He said the Punjab government as well as the federal Department of Plant Protection had failed to take timely action against locusts.

He said even the federal government had avoided spending funds to buy airplanes for air spray or recruitment.

The government has not developed a serious strategy since the arrival of the locusts or hired human resources to fight pests, he said.

Khalid said desert grasshoppers attacked plants and gardens in central and southern Punjab and were again inactive government officials.

He said locust attacks had damaged cotton, corn, green feed and other crops, including mango orchards on a broader scale. “If it continues it will bring us to the situation of hunger in this country,” he said.

He said the bleak situation had created a threat to the livestock, fodder industry, especially small farmers and families who have all the livelihoods and dependence on these animals and milk production. The sowing of cotton plants has diminished due to lack of seeds and poor quality, he said.

He said now grasshoppers have attacked cotton plants and started eating white gold at a premature stage.

Farmers do not have seeds left in their supply for replanting crops, he said.

Likewise other Kharif crops such as corn, beans and guara have been damaged, he said.

He accused federal Plant Protection Department officials of ignoring the plight of farmers in the face of locust attacks.

He said the PKI condemned the government’s lackluster attitude towards the problem of food security, which could damage the economy and food security several times more than coronavirus.

He urged the government, relevant departments to take serious action to protect commercial cotton plants from locust attacks.

Efforts are underway to track the bodies of 2 drowned children: The Rescue-1122 search team is working hard to track the bodies of two children, who sank in the Shujabad canal 36 hours ago.

District Rescue Officer 1122 Dr Kalim said a rickshaw fell into a canal on the Shjujabad canal bridge on Tuesday night.

As a result, five-year-old Zain Tanvir and ten-year-old Khalid Noor drowned in the canal.

The channel water flow is fast and the rescue team faces difficulties in tracking objects.

.



image source