ORLANDO, Fla. – State officials have launched a one-stop-shop site to offer assistance to Florida’s farmers and consumers during the coronavirus pandemic.
The new resource aims to help out those who need to sell food items and others who need help finding their next meal.
The Keep Florida Growing page, launched by Agriculture Commissioner Nicole “Nikki” Fried, includes the “Florida Farm To You” commodities list, which is updated daily with information to contact Florida food growers selling fresh food items near you. The list was launched last week in an effort to connect consumers with food producers who are struggling due to closures linked to the COVID-19 outbreak. Florida farmers can have their available products listed by filling out this form or emailing FLFarmToYou@FDACS.gov.
In another effort to keep consumers connected with Florida’s farmers during the pandemic, Fried’s office has developed a U-pick farm locator that Floridians can use to find and pick up fresh produce near them, cutting down on transportation costs for Florida’s already struggling farmers.
I'm excited to launch our #KeepFloridaGrowing page, a one-stop site for:— Commissioner Nikki Fried (@NikkiFriedFL) April 13, 2020
🍉Info for ag producers like Florida Farm To You commodities list & @SBAgov loans
🍅Info for consumers like U-pick farm locations
It's how we're keeping Florida & food producers connected in #COVID19.
The new web page also includes information about financial assistance options available to farmers who have been impacted by the pandemic and how to apply for help, as well as state purchasing programs and other initiatives.
The COVID-19 pandemic has also closed schools statewide, leaving many Florida students and families to wonder where they might get their next meals. The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ new online page also includes information about how children can get access to free meals during school closures and other emergency food assistance programs currently available, as well as details on eligibility.
Food safety guidance to follow amid the coronavirus pandemic can also be found on the site.