Carolina farmers no longer forced to throw away unsold food, donating to food banks and restaurants

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SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – It’s no secret that many people in the Upstate are food insecure and the pandemic has negatively affected local farmers, food banks and families in the area.

This morning Jeff Taylor, co-owner of Taylor Boys Produce, and his crew delivered a truck load of fresh produce to food banks and small businesses across the Upstate.

The donations come after farmers were forced to discard of their freshly grown crops for almost 5 weeks in a row.

Some of the foods included perishable items such as milk and eggs and because many of their usual buyers were temporarily closed to the public, there was nearly no demand for fresh produce.

“Thats heavily due to the restaurant business, the nursing facility businesses and the school system which buys an enormous amount of milk but with kids not there they don’t have anywhere for it to go,” Taylor said.

Traci Kennedy, executive director at Total Ministries, said she took a survey amongst her regular clients and half wanted fresh produce to help them lead a healthier life despite many of them living with health problems.

“I took a survey a while ago with our client and one-third of them had some sort of health condition, and when we asked what we could do they said provide fresh food,” Kennedy said.

Taylor said the USDA Farm to Families Box Program is what made this possible.

The program was designed to help struggling farmers feed families in need during the pandemic.

“What it has done is a massive help for local farmers and national farmers that have product that they cannot sell. It helps people like us to work with people like them to move their products to our warehouse,” Taylor said. “It’s helped us partner with people like Total Ministries.”

Taylor said this program will allow him to deliver fresh produce to organizations around South Carolina such as Total Ministries for the next six weeks.

For more information on the Farm to families Box Program please visit the USDA website.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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