United Fresh and USDA offer Buy Fresh web seminar

United Fresh and USDA offer Buy Fresh web seminar

The U.S. Department of Agriculture and the United Fresh Produce Association will present more details of the Buy Fresh program on April 23.

The program will buy up to $600 million in fresh produce to send to food banks strained by the pandemic.

The Coronavirus Food Assistance Purchase and Distribution Program, announced by the USDA on April 17, will purchase $100 million a month in fresh produce from foodservice and other distributors, who will box it up and distribute to food banks and similar charities. The program is expected to last six months, according to a news release from United Fresh.

Distributors harmed by the loss of restaurant, hotel and other foodservice business are the focus of the purchases, and growers whose inventory for that segment has nowhere to go will benefit as well.

The seminar begins at 1 p.m. Eastern April 23 and will focus on produce, complementing a similar seminar on April 21 on the overall Buy Fresh Program, which also includes purchases of dairy and cooked meat products, each with their own $100-million-a-month budgets.

Registration for the event is available online.

The Buy Fresh fruit and vegetable funds will come from the USDA, through the Agricultural Marketing Service’s Commodity Procurement Program. The program’s request for proposals will be open on April 24, according to the release.

The Packer's COVID-19 Updates

Speakers on the Buy Fresh call are:

  • Robert Guenther, senior vice president of public policy at United Fresh;
  • Mollie Van Lieu, senior director of nutrition policy at United Fresh;
  • David Tuckwiller, deputy administrator for the Commodity Procurement Program;
  • Chris Purdy, associate deputy administrator of the Commodity Procurement Program; and
  • Tom Brugato, president of Pacific Coast Fruit Co., and chairman of the United Fresh Wholesaler-Distributor Board. 

For questions about the session, contact Van Lieu at 202-303-3403 or [email protected]