Hundreds of boxes of vegetables and fruits were handed out Friday afternoon at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Tracy Lowell Avenue clubhouse through Farmers to Families, a federal program.

As part of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program, the U.S. Department of Agriculture was authorized to buy $3 billion worth of fresh produce, dairy and meat from farmers and ranchers across the country and give it to people in need. The USDA partnered with distributors that normally work with restaurants, hotels and other food service businesses to package the food into family-sized boxes and send them to food banks, faith-based organizations and other nonprofits.

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Tracy wrote a grant to be one of those organizations, and it began giving out boxes July 17.

The club receives more than 400 boxes each Friday to hand out free on a first-come, first-served basis. There are no income requirements. The produce in the boxes might include lettuce, potatoes, onions, plums and other fruit.

One more distribution is scheduled this Friday from 2 to 5 p.m. After that, the program will take a break and resume after Labor Day. Organizers hope to add some kind of protein, such as chicken or eggs, to each box in September.

To learn more about food giveaways at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Tracy, email ythrone@bgctracy.org or call and leave a message at 832-2582, ext. 114.

Contact the Tracy Press at tpnews@tracypress.com or 835-3030.

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