May 08, 2020

Hawaii Farmers and Distributors Receive $5.2 Million to Facilitate Food Delivery to Families in Need

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawaii) announced today that farmers and distributors in Hawaii will receive $5.2 million in federal funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to provide food to families in need. The funding, distributed under the Farmers to Families Food Box Program, is part of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) that Congress established in the second coronavirus relief legislation that passed the Senate in March. 

“Like so many places across the country, the COVID-19 pandemic is driving unprecedented demand for food assistance in Hawaii. The harrowing images we’ve seen of families lining up for hours to receive food demonstrate the urgency to direct more federal resources to assist those in need,” Senator Hirono said. “This funding, provided through the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program, will facilitate the delivery of assistance to food banks and other social service organizations across our state. It will also support the ongoing efforts of our farmers and distributors who have worked hard to adapt to feed individuals and families in our community. I will continue to advocate for this program and other crucial initiatives to assist Hawaii families in need.”

The Hawaii-based companies receiving funding under this program include: 

Aina Hookupu O Kilauea:               $468,000

Ham Produce and Seafood Inc.:             $3,584,000

Hawaii Foodservice Alliance:             $313,500

Malama Kauai:                                 $235,200

Suisan Company Limited:               $621,813

The Farmers to Families Food Box Program, a component of the USDA CFAP, is aimed at supporting farmers and ranchers through the purchase of excess commodities while replenishing supplies for over-extended food banks and organizations throughout the country. Through the program, national, regional, and local suppliers partner with USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) to purchase up to $3 billion in fresh produce, dairy, and meat products. 

Suppliers in the program will package these products into family-sized boxes and transport them to food banks, community and faith-based organizations, and other non-profits that distribute food to Americans in need, with deliveries beginning on May 15, 2020 and running through June 30, 2020. Additional information on the Farmers to Families Food Box Program, including webinars and answers to FAQs, is available on the AMS website at www.ams.usda.gov/selling-food-to-usda/farmers-to-families-food-box.

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