Mid-Ohio Food Collective President and CEO Matt Habash testified before Congress on Tuesday to share his organization’s experience with a program set up by the USDA.
Under the Farmers to Family Fox Box program, food that farmers originally intended to sell to restaurants or other bulk purchasers is instead purchased by the government and sent to charities via a distributor.
Habash said their participation in the program has allowed the Mid-Ohio Food Collective to provide 30 million pounds of food to people in need from March to June of this year –a 30% increase from the same time period in 2019.
Additionally, they have been able to help 27,430 families requiring assistance for the first time.
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However, the program does have some issues to resolve.
The problems arise when the distributors fail to live up to their promises, which causes the charity to shoulder the work and the cost of the food’s storage and delivery.
“Frankly many vendors are failing to adhere to their contracts,” Habash testified.
He added that they’re not letting shortcomings by those vendors prevent them from continuing their mission. “We’re taking in all the product. To say we could have said ‘no’ means people don’t get food.”
To date, the Mid-Ohio Food Collective has distributed 42,590 food boxes under the USDA’s program.
To read more about the work they do, click here.