Small producers on what relief programs did and did not work, as they helped fill the gaps during COVID

Small producers told lawmakers they helped fill gaps during the pandemic, but they need help now that grocery shelves are restocked.

They testified before a House ag subcommittee about the relief programs that did and did not work. The director of a soil and conservation district in southwest Georgia said that the Farmers to Families Food Box program worked in some areas but smaller communities had to get creative.

“We actually launched our own food box program to supplement federal and state efforts. So, through the non-profit arm, we worked with local farmers and also with our network of non-profit community garden spaces to source local produce,” Flint River Soil and Water Conservation District’s Perri Cooper explains.

She called for permanently reduced cost-share grants for small coops. Other producers called for more micro-loans and making the food box program permanent.


USDA considers changes to the Farmers-to-Families Food Box program

The Farmers-to-Families Food Box program set to end in May