Formal Request from Virginia Senators Warner and Kaine to FNS

In today’s local news US Senators of Virginia Warner and Kaine, sent a formal request to the Administrator of the Food and Nutrition Service the (FNS) at the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) urging for swift approval of Virginia’s request to operate a Disaster Household Distribution Program. This designation by the Food and Nutrition Service would allow food banks to distribute USDA foods directly to Virginia’s neediest families while limiting the interactions between food bank staff, volunteers, and recipients during the coronavirus outbreak. The request read in part as follows;
“We write today in support of the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) request to operate a Disaster Household Distribution Program in Virginia due to the ongoing public health emergency caused by the spread of COVID-19. Timely approval of this request is needed to ensure families in Virginia have access to healthy foods during this crisis.
In Virginia, many households are out of work due to the ongoing public health emergency. This has created an unprecedented increase in need for food services across the Commonwealth. With little time to prepare, many families have found themselves without the finances to maintain a healthy diet. Unfortunately, congregate food distribution is not an option at this time due to the potential spread of COVID-19. A household distribution program is required to ensure the safe and efficient distribution of food to families in need.
The Virginia Federation of Foodbanks-working in conjunction with VDACS-will operate the Disaster Household Distribution Program in the Commonwealth. Virginia Foodbanks will utilize their existing inventories of USDA foods and donated foods to help supplement families’ nutritional needs. Participants in the program will not be required to complete long and burdensome application forms. The goal will be to limit interaction between staff, volunteers, and recipients to ensure the safe and expeditious delivery of food to families.
Thank you for your consideration of this request and all you do to ensure Americans have access to healthy foods.

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