The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Farmers to Families program in partnership with The Food Soldier Hunger Coalition will be holding free drive-through grocery distributions in Athens over the next three weeks.

The program will be providing free 35-pound boxes of farm fresh food, including meat, dairy and produce, from 1-4 p.m. (or until supplies run out) on Oct. 17, 24 and 31 at Outreach & Crisis Centers, Inc., located at The Carlson Center, 319 W. Union St., in Athens. Approximately 1,500 boxes of food will be available per distribution event.

“This food is available to everyone, regardless of your income or where you live,” said Food Solider Hunger Coalition founder Roshelle Pate. “We will be providing one to two boxes of food per family depending on demand. All you have to do is drive up, and our volunteers will load the box into your vehicle.”

No identification is required to receive a food box. For the safety of volunteers, those picking up food boxes are asked to wear a face mask. Local food banks and community, school or veteran organizations are encouraged to contact for bulk pick-up on distribution days.

The Farmers to Families food box program was launched in support of American farmers and families affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. In late September, the USDA announced that more than 100 million food boxes had been distributed through the program.

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