Maine grown potatoes and other foodstuffs are part of a county-wide food distribution program in Biddeford on Tuesday, July 21. The distrubution is made possible through federal funding.

BIDDEFORD — The City of Biddeford is working with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Episcopal Diocese of Maine and Pineland Farms to distribute 1,320 boxes of free food.

The boxes will be available to any York County resident.

The drive-thru distribution will take place at Biddeford Middle School, 25 Tiger Drive in Biddeford, on Tuesday, July 21. Food boxes will be handed out on a first-come, first-served basis beginning at 4 p.m. and continue until 8 p.m. or while supplies last.

“We are honored to help our neighbors in need during these difficult times,” said Bishop Thomas James Brown. “Jesus taught us to not love in word but in deed and we are living that mission today and every day. The Episcopal Diocese of Maine expects to participate in other USDA food distribution projects statewide throughout the summer.”

Each box of food contains 5 pounds of potatoes, 6 pounds of microwavable mashed potatoes, 2 ½ pounds of cheddar cheese and a half-gallon of fresh 2 percent milk, all Maine produced.

The food is supplied through the Farmers to Families Food Box Program, a part of the USDA’s Coronavirus Food Assistance Program, established through the Families First Coronavirus Response Act and CARES Act.

“The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on Maine’s families, farmers, and food systems have been serious and are certain to persist for months to come,” Maine’s Congressional delegation said in a joint statement earlier this month. “This funding will support Maine farmers and producers who are struggling with decreased demand and disrupted supply chains as well as help to alleviate hunger in our communities.”

“Many families in the greater Biddeford area are continuing to face food insecurity and other economic challenges associated with COVID-19. Thanks to this program, many more York County residents in need will have a simple way to access fresh, locally-grown food,” said Biddeford Mayor Alan Casavant.

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