Congressman Chris Jacobs (NY-27) toured the HH Dobbins fruit packaging facility in Lyndonville, New York yesterday.
“As a member of the House Agriculture Committee, I have been focused on touring my district and learning more about our region’s extensive agri-business industry. These businesses are major drivers of our local economy, providing good-paying jobs and career opportunities for many Western New Yorkers, but they also have a major ripple effect supporting thousands of jobs for local farmers, truck drivers, and supporting businesses,” Jacobs said.
“HH Dobbins has an extremely impressive operation packaging and distributing fruit that harnesses the power of local labor and innovative technology. However, they are also a testament to USDA programs’ success and the ability for local businesses to adapt,” Jacobs explained. “They took advantage of the Farmers to Families Food Box USDA program developed to aid growers and processors affected by COVID-19.”
Jacobs argues that the program allowed HH Dobbins to keep its staff employed and supply families in need with nutritious food all around the country and believes that these programs are vital to the restoration of the agriculture industry.
HH Dobbins went from normal operations of packaging and distributing apples throughout the nation and changed operations to package and ship over seven different American grown produce commodities purchased through the Farmers to Families Food Box Program.
As part of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program Secretary Sonny Perdue announced on April 17, USDA has exercised authority under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act to purchase and distribute agricultural products to those in need. Through this program, USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) partnered with national, regional and local distributors, whose workforces had been significantly impacted by the closure of restaurants, hotels and other food service businesses, to purchase up to $3 billion in fresh produce, dairy and meat products from American producers of all sizes.
The program supplied food boxes of fresh fruits and vegetables, dairy products, meat products and a combination box of fresh produce, dairy or meat products. Distributors packaged these products into family-sized boxes, then transported them to food banks, community and faith-based organizations, and other non-profits serving Americans in need (USDA, updated 9/4/20)