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Federal Food Box Program Is Tapped Out, Creating Burden For Orange County Food Bank

Cardboard boxes with a Farmers to Families Food Box logo are stacked in the back of a truck.
A volunteer stacks USDA Farmers to Families Food Boxes to the edge of a semi truck for distribution at the Athens County Fairgrounds in Athens, Ohio on Dec. 19, 2020.
( Stephen Zenner
/
AFP via Getty Images)
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Today marks the end to a resource that's been in high demand during the pandemic.

Funding for the USDA Farmers to Families Food Box Program has officially run out, leaving the Orange County Food Bank with a heaping deficit of $1.2 million.

Gregory Scott, president and CEO of Community Action Partnership Orange County, which runs the program, said it will have a "devastating" impact for the food insecure.

"When the program first started back in March of 2020 they were giving us 120,000 boxes of food," he said. "By the end of the year that had gone down to 60,000 boxes of food and now that's going to go away completely, that certainly has a big impact on our ability to serve the 200,000 families that we serve every single month."

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Scott said ending the program puts the burden of raising the massive amounts of money monthly on the shoulders of the food bank.

"We can source similar products at a lower cost, but even then we are still looking at an additional cost of nearly $500,00," he said.