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Blunt, Hawley, Long Ask USDA to Approve Convoy of Hope’s Farmers to Families Food Box Program Application

May 28, 2020

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senators Roy Blunt (Mo.) and Josh Hawley (Mo.), along with U.S. Representative Billy Long (Mo.), sent a letter to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Sonny Perdue regarding the denial of Convoy of Hope’s application to participate in the Farmers to Families Food Box Program. Their letter notes that Convoy of Hope, based in Springfield, Mo., has distributed over $1 billion in emergency food aid to more than 130 million people since its founding and urged the USDA to reconsider its decision to deny their application.
 
“Convoy of Hope has swiftly responded to the needs of thousands of Americans as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and has distributed over 15 million meals since March,” they wrote. “We urge you to reconsider this decision. If that is not possible, we ask that you move swiftly to give clear explanation as to why they were excluded and provide the necessary feedback to ensure that the organization’s tremendous resources and expertise can be put to use in future partnerships with USDA.”
 
Read the full letter here or below.
 
The Honorable Sonny Perdue
Secretary
U.S. Department of Agriculture
1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20250
 
Dear Secretary Perdue:
 
We write to seek clarification regarding the contracts granted under the Farmers to Families Food Box Program. As you may know, since its founding more than 25 years ago, Convoy of Hope has distributed over $1 billion in emergency food aid to more than 130 million people in the United States and around the word through partnerships with businesses, churches, non-profit organizations, and government agencies. That is why we were surprised and disappointed to hear that Convoy of Hope’s application to participate in the Farmers to Families Food Box Program was denied.
 
Convoy of Hope has swiftly responded to the needs of thousands of Americans as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and has distributed over 15 million meals since March. Convoy of Hope has so many requests for assistance that it has suspended taking requests because it lacks enough food to distribute. To their credit, despite being denied, they have been connecting USDA’s contract winners with their partners in order to ensure needs are being met.
 

We urge you to reconsider this decision. If that is not possible, we ask that you move swiftly to give clear explanation as to why they were excluded and provide the necessary feedback to ensure that the organization’s tremendous resources and expertise can be put to use in future partnerships with USDA.

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