DiMare Fresh Approved by USDA for the "Farmers to Families Food Box" Program
- by Jordan Okumura
DALLAS, TX - Last week, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) purchased $461 million in fresh produce through its Farmers to Families Food Box Program. Many industry leaders are joining the cause, such as DiMare Fresh. The value-added distribution company specializing in produce and floral was selected to partner with the USDA in its mission to bring fresh produce to those in need through the distributor’s facilities in Texas and throughout the Southwest.
“We are honored to be a part of the USDA Farmers to Families Food Box Program to fully utilize our Southwest distribution centers to help families in need,” said Tony DiMare, an Owner of family-owned and operated DiMare Fresh. “Aside from helping those in need of fresh food in the communities we serve, we’re also able to help other growers move their surplus of fresh U.S. produce.”
According to a press release, DiMare Fresh will utilize the USDA funds for its Texas operations in Dallas/Fort Worth and Houston, which have been impacted by the loss of foodservice businesses. The direct store delivery model in both locations will be a seamless transition from distribution directly to eligible nonprofits.
DiMare Fresh has long-standing relationships with local and regional food banks and other nonprofits, such as the Houston Food Bank, North Texas Food Bank, Community Table, and Brighter Bites. This funding will allow for DiMare Fresh to expand to other hunger relief organizations and operations working to provide those in need with fresh food.
"This partnership with DiMare Fresh will ensure Brighter Bites families in Houston and Austin continue to receive fresh, immune-boosting produce at a time when they need it most,” said Brighter Bites Director of Sourcing Jennifer Boone. “The program will allow us to expand our reach in those cities by more than 30 percent, and we’re grateful to DiMare for trusting Brighter Bites to distribute their product with the greatest care and consideration.”
As part of this program, the USDA will exercise authority under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act to purchase and distribute up to $3 billion in agricultural products to those in need. With this, the USDA has partnered with regional and local distributors whose workforce has been significantly impacted by the closure of many restaurants, hotels, and other foodservice entities to purchase fresh produce, dairy, and meat.
With our industry rallying together during this time of need, I know that we will come out stronger in the end. Continue following along with us at ANUK as we bring you the latest movements in fresh produce.