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More fresh produce than typical at local food banks because of tariffs

Farm excess
Posted at 7:10 PM, Jul 31, 2019

COLORADO SPRINGS — “For them it’s a treat. We’re excited to give more of that to our neighbors. Shannon Brice with Care and Share Food Bank for Southern Colorado is talking about offering fresh fruits, vegetables and milk to people who struggle to put on the table. Right now, fresh products are more abundant than typical.

It is because of tariffs and trade agreements impacting U.S. Farmers. "To be able to have that right now as a result of a political situation has certainly benefited our organization greatly, and ultimately the people at risk of hunger in Southern Colorado,” said Brice. The United States Department of Agriculture is off-setting losses to farmers who end up with excess because of the tariff situation. The food goes to humanitarian service providers like Care & Share, through The Emergency Food Assistance Program operated by the government.

The bounty of produce is likely to increase even more in the month ahead because of local farmers now ramping up their harvests. Brice says many local growers are long time supporters. They offer up excess, odd sized, and damaged produce that main line retailers do not accept. Farmers make it available or volunteers with Care & Share go the fields and do the harvesting.

At Care & Share, the more fresh products the better “All of this produce and dairy that we’re receiving, we have to get really creative on how to get it out to our neighbors quickly,” said Brice. Fresh also has a short shelf life, so it has to be turned around from the warehouse and sent to Southern Colorado food banks and meal programs within days of it arriving.