Fresh produce that might have otherwise been plowed under or left to rot in fields is finding its way to Terrell as part of the USDA’s Farmers to Family’s Food Box program.

On Friday and Saturday last week, hundreds of boxes were given out to local folks, no questions asked. The program is expected to continue at two locations through June.

Terrell First Assembly Adopt-a-Block is partnering with Tanger Outlet Center, J.S. Helwig & Son Trucking and Star Transit to host a produce distribution event on Fridays from 8-11 a.m. at Tanger Outlet Center, 301 Tanger Dr. in Terrell. During last Friday’s event, more than 1,200 17-pound boxes filled with apples, oranges, onions, potatoes, carrots and pinto beans were handed out to families.

On Saturday at the Rafter J Cowboy Church, 10701 County Road 303 (across I-20 from Buc-ee’s), volunteers gave out their complete inventory of 560 food boxes. Andy Goldring, a church member who’s worked in the produce industry for much his life, is a key organizer at the Rafter J giveaway. He estimated the church gave away 100 boxes during the first hour alone. The Rafter J Cowboy Church’s distribution begins at 9 a.m. Anyone or any family in need of food support is welcome to get boxes.

Under this USDA program, up to $3 billion in fresh food is being made available to Americans throughout the nation. Suppliers are packaging these products into family-sized boxes, and then transporting them to food banks, community and faith-based organizations, and other non-profits serving people in need.

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