Residents line up for hours to receive food donations


May 22, 2020

Casey Ferrand & Harlin Miller, Jr. (WTDN) - Residents in Jefferson Parish were lined up in cars at Zephyr Field Thursday for a large-scale emergency food distribution hosted by the Second Harvest Food Bank.

The Food Bank received the food supply through the Coronavirus Food Assistance program and was notified Wednesday that trucks of food were headed this way.

A total of 39 Army National Guardsmen and dozens of Jefferson Parish firefighters loaded more than 100,000 pounds of fresh food and produce like eggs, milk, potatoes, sweet potatoes and chicken into the cars of residents who started lining up at least two hours before the distribution began at 1:00 p.m. Thursday.

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This $19 billion immediate relief program includes direct support to agricultural producers as well as the Farmers to Families Food Box Program. CFAP will provide vital financial assistance to producers of agricultural commodities who have suffered a five-percent-or-greater price decline or who had losses due to market supply chain disruptions due to COVID-19 and face additional significant market costs.

The USDA is exercising authority under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act to purchase and distribute agricultural products to those in need. Through this program, USDA is partnering with national, regional and local suppliers, whose workforce has been significantly impacted by the closure of restaurants, hotels and other food service businesses, to purchase up to $3 billion in fresh produce, dairy and meat products.

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Suppliers will package these products totaling $1.2 billion into family-sized boxes, then transport them to food banks, community and faith-based organizations, and other non-profits serving Americans in need from May 15 through June 30, 2020.

The Second Harvest Food Bank CEO Natalie Jayroe said more food distribution days are being arranged to respond to the ongoing need for food in local communities, although the dates and schedule has not been nailed down yet.

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Photos By: Harlin Miller, Jr. 

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