Farmers to Families giving away free boxes of fresh food

Washington County

HAGERSTOWN, Md. (WDVM) — With many families struggling to put food on the table due to the Coronavirus, the U.S. Department of Agriculture introduced a program that helps families and the farmers who supply food to so many Americans.

A tractor-trailer pulled into the Hobby Lobby parking lot on Wesel Boulevard with 36,000 of farm-fresh food, ready to be distributed to families, completely free of charge.

The boxes of farm-fresh food are part of the Farmers to Families program, created by the USDA, to bring agricultural products to people impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

Patty Mays is a volunteer and coordinator of the event that was partnered with Gateway Church. Mays explained that each box is supposed to be filled with 15 lbs of fresh produce. The boxes distributed on Saturday, October 10th, actually weighed 30 lbs and contained apples, cabbage, cheese, eggs, chicken, half and half, onions, milk, potatoes, and sour cream.

“It shows me that there’s a true need for people to be fed in Washington County, that you know with the COVID, there is a true need. People are hungry.”

Patty Mays

Pastor Ray Sewell from Gateway Church was shocked to see that people had already lined up for the distribution when he and other volunteers arrived at 8 o’clock on Saturday morning.

“We got here, we were meeting the tractor-trailer at 8 and we get here at 7 and there’s already a line here. It speaks to how much there is a need. And to say that they’re driving, you know a lot of us think need means homeless, but really today, need does not look like what it used to look like.”

The boxes prevent farmers from discarding their goods and allows for local organizations to distribute food to families in need.

Pastor Sewell explained that he and the other volunteers, many of whom are members of Gateway Church, wanted to support and bring hope to people who are struggling due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

“Our purpose for doing this today is to really be a blessing to the community. You know in the pandemic going on, there’s a lot of crazy stuff. People are struggling. [We] really just trying to restore hope because people are struggling in this season. So our purpose really is to just love people and let them know that this will pass.

This round of boxes will feed up to 1,200 families for up to six days.

The truck will be returning to Hagerstown every Saturday to the following locations:

  • October 17th – Hobby Lobby parking lot on Wesel Boulevard
  • October 24th – JCPenney parking lot on Valley Mall Rd
  • October 31st – Hobby Lobby parking lot on Wesel Boulevard

The boxes will be distributed in a drive-thru style where the volunteers will load the box into the vehicle.

Box distribution will begin at 10 A.M. and is available to all residents of Washington County.

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