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USDA Listening Session for Comments on the Food Purchase Program - Shared screen with speaker view
Torey Powell
41:02
We encourage comments from smaller businesses, new and beginning farmers and ranchers, socially disadvantaged producers, veteran producers, and underserved communities, and/or organizations representing these entities. Comments can emailed to AMSCOVIDStimulus@usda.gov by March 31, 2021. You can find more information about submitting comments by visiting www.ams.usda.gov/services/ams-covid-stimulus
Jessica Weiss
01:08:25
Excellent point about lifting up smaller farms, women and farmers of color as well as appropriate choices of healthy meat
Emily Kichler
01:18:36
Yes, great point on the allergies and religious guidelines
Jessica Weiss
01:21:27
Excellent points about the importance of including local farmers as well as vendors that have a community connection
Jessica Weiss
01:25:18
Flexibility of contents was removed when forcing combo boxes and lowest prices.
Jessica Weiss
01:32:27
Excellent points about cultural appropriateness being destroyed by need for combo boxes.
Patricia Drumming
01:37:58
I agree wholeheartedly with the previous panelist concerning separate boxes for meat, dairy and produce, as well as the transportation and storage capacity concerns. Patricia Drumming, Rainbow Community Development Centet
Emily Kichler
01:40:23
Love the comment about bottom-up vs. top-down support
Emily Kichler
01:40:37
As challenging as that is
Emily Kichler
01:42:39
The quality can greatly increase with less meat and dairy, while fitting the cost of the boxes
CHRISTOPHER DIPNARINE
02:00:07
Love the program .. helps us feed many communities not associated or connected with the lager food banks, we also worked with local police departments to build better relationships during this troubling times, let’s not try to over complicate the program, we just have to continue to address the day to day challenges as they come. Putting more guidelines will be more difficult for the distributors and local community groups.. if anyone has questions of how we addressed the many concerns I have read here. We offer Halal boxes and boxes to suit any type of groups. Learn more about us .. https://4mycity.us/
Patricia Drumming
02:02:15
Agree with Ms. Williams about being able to report back on the quality/quantity of what was received in the boxes.
Jessica Weiss
02:02:59
Tamara excellent points about rural needs and the non-profits needing to be seen as experts in their community needs. It has been a pleasure working with the schools in WV through Save The Children. Hoping we can continue to reach more rural communities by providing food distribution at the schools.
Emily Kichler
02:22:12
Yes to lentils and peas
Emily Kichler
02:23:39
Mystyna, I'm curious to hear more
Emily Kichler
02:27:09
Yes, agreed on the use of excess product
Jessica Weiss
02:27:42
A green with DeLune. The timing is definitely an issue in terms of weather changes and covid contraction by staff. As a vendor, we have planned on ending distribution by the 26th of the month just in case of such delays. It allows vendors to meet their contracts. Unfortunately, that means the non profits and small pantry partners are left without food for that last week. Also when switching vendors, the start dates, even though often supposed to start at the beginning of the month, due to supplies not coming in due to typical 2-3 week lead times, it can mean WEEKS without these vital boxes being available to people in need.
Emily Kichler
02:28:24
Oh, good to know Mystyna
Jessica Weiss
02:31:06
Maura excellent info with regards to distribution supply chain needs.
Jessica Weiss
02:32:03
I would like to hear more about your system @Maura. Please feel free to reach out to growingSOULorg@gmail.com or 301-537-7422
Jessica Weiss
02:36:45
Very hard to change up the boxes when you ate tied to a price. Also the usda has to approve every change. So streamlining that process would be critical.
Patricia Drumming
02:39:15
So proud of Heather and the Montgomery Food Council. We are one of the beneficiaries of your tremendous work in ensuring no one is food insecure in Montgomery County. An amazing model for others to engage in all over the country. We agree with your suggestions.
Jessica Weiss
02:40:54
Excellent summary Heather. I want to support everything you have said especially about the challenge of providing equitable distribution when vendors change and need does not. Always challenging to have to let a collaborative pantry partner know that there is no food available this round and to check back.
Jessica Weiss
02:44:07
Ms Christian I would love your contact info. Your comments about the lack of food justice in the later sessions are on point.
Jessica Weiss
02:46:33
Agreed Lolo. Shifting to the “lowest bid wins” model created a lot of degradation to the program as well as the community relationships it was intended to foster.
Jessica Weiss
02:59:45
Thank you for keeping it LOCAL
Jessica Weiss
03:08:39
Just a note. The vendors are required to bid regionally and since round 2 do not know which state they will be awarded. So while they were originally asked to benefit local farms in round 1-2, that went away when the combo boxes and round 3 came into play
Emily Kichler
03:10:17
Lactose intolerance is something to consider. This is just one article, but worth a read: https://www.nichd.nih.gov/sites/default/files/publications/pubs/documents/NICHD_MM_Lactose_FS_rev.pdf
Jessica Weiss
03:22:39
Thank you for mentioning the zero-waste aspects that can benefit this program
Jessica Weiss
03:26:50
Unfortunately the experts are overbooked and small community pantries have been overlooked
Ronald Williams Jr
03:28:10
I don’t need to speak. All panelist echoed my sentiments both positively and negatively
Felipe Carlos Rojas
03:33:07
We need ALL members of the community this is not only a food banks domain. We distributed 100K boxes to families that food banks were not reaching/engaging. That’s 100K families that would have been left out
Patricia Drumming
03:40:00
Well stated!
Patricia Drumming
03:43:11
What happened to the Indian Cultural Association? They are one of our partners as well
Patricia Drumming
03:45:06
Love the idea of a survey
Patricia Drumming
03:48:43
Jessica and growingSoul has been a tremendous asset in helping many of our food provider partners secure these boxes
Felipe Carlos Rojas
03:50:48
Thanks for speaking your truth @Jessica Weiss
Cas Gordon
03:51:33
YES
Cas Gordon
03:51:35
THIS
Patricia Drumming
03:51:46
Thanks Jessica for representing so well
Emily Kichler
03:51:50
Thank you Jessica!
Cas Gordon
03:52:01
People in NYC have waited in freezing temperatures for HOURS because of late deliveries
Felipe Carlos Rojas
04:00:31
In Arizona we had families line up for 3 hours in 110+ degree heat
Cas Gordon
04:02:02
This is such a major point
Cas Gordon
04:02:20
Much more thought needs to go into what goes into the boxes
Emily Kichler
04:04:28
Yes, what goes into these boxes is a vote for our current and future food systems
Jessica Morgan
04:04:45
Thank you for bringing up culturally diverse foods, like Kosher. This is so important!
Emily Kichler
04:06:10
Yes, part of our network will separate out the meat from the boxes so that they can meet the needs of halal members in the community. Of course, the vegetables, fruits, and dairy supplied are not enough. If there were things like lentils in there, it would be an easy fix
Felipe Carlos Rojas
04:07:14
Antonio: I agree. We were part of that distribution. The following vendors where in Miami and Pennsylvania and were shipping boxes to Puerto Rico…made no sense
Felipe Carlos Rojas
04:07:29
It was a waste of taxpayers’ money
Cas Gordon
04:17:11
those guidelines were implemented thanks to lobbying, not science
Patricia Drumming
04:17:56
Jessica I know first-hand the extensive work you did to ensure that West Virginia received food as many of my partners can attest to as well.
Joan - HempStaff
04:18:41
Hi Everyone, happy to attend and speak later, Thanks Joan - HempStaff.
Lucy Mercado
04:19:38
@Cas you're absolutely 100% correct regarding food lobbying and not based on food science
Patricia Drumming
04:22:45
Contrary to what many may think, the Maryland Food Bank doesn't serve all of Maryland so they may not know all provider agencies. Capital Area Food Bank serves part of it.
Aubrey Alvarez
04:23:18
It would be helpful to know which of the Feeding America food banks want to participate in the program. Locally, ours have not been interested in accepting or distributing. This was the reason our group and others stepped in. It would be helpful if there was more transparency regarding where food is available and goes. Of the 60,000 boxes we've distributed, 80% of the groups would not have been able to access if only distributed through the food bank.
Lucy Mercado
04:30:38
Thank you Danielle. F. Mike and Hungry Monk for helping us mutual aids and orgs get access to the USDA boxes!
Cas Gordon
04:32:33
Yes, there's way too much sodium in the boxes
Cas Gordon
04:32:55
agreed!
Cas Gordon
04:33:28
the American cheese in the food boxes have 5 grams of saturated fats for every .3 grams of calcium
Cas Gordon
04:33:53
(and that 5 grams of saturated fats comes in two slices only)
Cas Gordon
04:34:50
agreed, many people (myself included) rely on your work, Mike !
Patricia Drumming
04:38:18
Thank God you have the funding to purchase. Smaller providers don't have that option
Patricia Drumming
04:39:51
So proud of Jessica and growingSoul! Kudos
Cas Gordon
04:41:02
Yes, Growing Soul and Hungry Munk are vital to nyc food distributions!!
Patricia Drumming
04:42:31
Prince Georges is a big concern of ours as well
Cas Gordon
04:44:08
Yes Nancy!!!
Emily Kichler
04:44:32
Great points!
Cas Gordon
04:44:56
Louder for the people in the back!
Felipe Carlos Rojas
04:45:09
YES! Thank you, Nancie
Lucy Mercado
04:45:38
YES! Nancie Katz! 100% correct!!!
Cas Gordon
04:46:13
Dairy products are the NUMBER 1 source of saturated fats in America, which heavily increase the chances of heart disease, aka America's #1 killer!!
Cas Gordon
04:46:22
Nancie forever!!
Felipe Carlos Rojas
04:46:24
Bravo, Nancie!
Lucy Mercado
04:47:23
Nancy thank you for you work!!! Lucy here from the Food Justice Ministry, Kingsbridge, Bronx!
Joan - HempStaff
04:51:34
Great information so far, Thanks Joan - HempStaff.
Emily Kichler
05:00:22
Yes
Lucy Mercado
05:00:23
PREACH!!!!
Dana Mohamed ICNA Relief USA
05:00:25
Truth!
Dana Mohamed ICNA Relief USA
05:06:51
important points!
Joan - HempStaff
05:18:38
Enjoying this wealth of information, Thanks Joan - HempStaff.
Lucy Mercado
05:36:42
Thank you Cas for addressing such concerns for our communities here in NYC and nation wide!
Lillie Zeng
05:40:24
Brian Smith - you are on deck next
Lillie Zeng
05:41:02
Following Brian is Carolyn Lake
Lillie Zeng
05:47:26
Hi Rosalba: We are accepting written comments until March 31. Please submit your suggestions through our written comment option on our ams.usda.gov website.