The latest COVID-19 stimulus package passed by the Feds contains funding to continue the free milk-food drive-thru events. Officially titled, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, the bill will again purchase food from farmers and distribute boxes of meat and dairy products to the public.

The Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (C.F.A.P.), Nourish New York, and The American Dairy Association Northeast worked together distributing hundreds of thousands of gallons of milk and tons of food throughout Central New York in the summer and fall. The USDA announced a similar plan of "Farms to Families" will be used again with a couple of modifications.

USDA will again purchase combination boxes to ensure all involved recipient organizations have access to fresh produce, dairy products, fluid milk and meat products, and seafood products will also be included in this round.

In addition to adding seafood to the food boxes, the USDA plans to include a wider variety of cheeses during the next events including "Blue, Brick, Colby, Edam, Gorgonzola, Gouda, Gruyere, Monterey, Muenster, Parmesan, Provolone and Romano are acceptable in addition to cheddar and other cheeses specified in the solicitation."

The timetable for more drive-thru events has the USDA soliciting the same organizations and food distributors as the last time by the end of this week, (1/8/21). Contracts would be awarded by January 19 with distributions events to start shortly thereafter and continue through mid-April.

Read more on the USDA's plan on their website.

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