Department of agriculture supports farmers, charitable food system with contract

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LANCASTER, Pa. (WTAJ) — The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture announced a $10 million contract with Feeding Pennsylvania to acquire agriculture products to be funneled through the charitable food system.

This contract would place fresh, local foods into the hands of Pennsylvanians in need and is part of the department’s Pennsylvania Agricultural Surplus System (PASS) program.

Out of the $10 million, $5 million is for dairy-only purchases and the other $5 million is for a variety of products such as meat, eggs, fruit and vegetables.

The money will be distributed over the next four months to purchase excess products from farmers and redistribute it to members of the Feeding Pennsylvania and Hunger-Free Pennsylvania networks of food banks.

“If there’s anything worse than the waste of fresh, local food and the labor of love from Pennsylvania farmers, it’s the hunger that more than two million Pennsylvanians are facing every day as we fight COVID-19,” said Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding. “This is $10 million in relief for Pennsylvania farmers who have lost markets but have not swayed in their commitment to nourishing our commonwealth. It’s $10 million in fresh, local food to go on the plates of families who were unsure of where their next meal would come from.”

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