The 760 food boxes with products from Maine farmers were purchased through a contract Senator Collins advocated for
Van Buren, ME — This morning, U.S. Senator Susan Collins visited Van Buren, where 760 food boxes through the Farmers to Families Food Box Program were distributed to members of the community. Senator Collins thanked the organizers and volunteers and greeted hundreds of Mainers who attended the event. The food boxes, which contain products from Maine farmers, were purchased through a $2.14 million contract recently awarded to Maine Farmers Exchange (MFX) following the Maine Congressional Delegation’s advocacy.
MFX in Presque Isle partnered with Pineland Farms Potato Company in Mars Hill and Catholic Charities of Maine to distribute these food boxes containing Maine-sourced products such as russet potatoes, Pineland mashed potatoes, Hood milk, and Pineland cheddar cheese.
“Maine is so fortunate to have a statewide network of non-profits who have partnered with local farmers and food distributors to deliver boxes of nutritious food that was grown and produced here in our state. Their hard work is truly making a difference in our communities, helping to alleviate hunger for countless seniors and families throughout Maine,” said Senator Collins, a founding member of the Senate Hunger Caucus. “Although the public health and economic crisis caused by COVID-19 has been unprecedented, the commitment and collaboration shown by Mainers helping Mainers today make me confident that we will prevail.”
To date, more than 10,000 food boxes have been distributed throughout the State of Maine by MFX. Just this week, boxes were delivered in Biddeford, Fort Kent, Presque Isle, Machias, Millbridge, and Van Buren. The number of boxes distributed at each site vary between 600 and 1,600 boxes.
The Farmers to Families Food Box Program, which was created by Congress through COVID-19 relief packages, is supporting farmers with up to $3 billion in purchases of fresh produce, dairy, and meat and distributing these products to low-income Americans in need. When no Maine distributors were initially awarded a contract, Senator Collins joined the Maine Delegation in successfully urging the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to rectify the program’s shortcomings. Last week, Senator Collins visited Native Maine Produce and Specialty Foods in Westbrook to celebrate a $1.35 million Farmers to Families Food Box contract they were awarded.