Fresh fruits and vegetables were distributed to families in Waterbury on Wednesday as part of Farmers to Families, a program through the USDA.
Volunteers from Waterbury’s Police Activity League (PAL) and police officers handed out the 1,400 boxes to families and other non-profits to distribute to families in need.
“We put on the flyer that it was going to start at 8 o’clock but it just so happened that when the tractor trailer got here was around 8, 8:30 families start coming up,” said Querino Maia, an organizer from the Waterbury Police Department. “I tell you it was amazing. Today we went through 700 boxes of produce in like an hour and a half.”
The Rivera Memorial Foundation picked up about 75 boxes to distribute.
“The need has increased especially because families have been out of work and a lot of the work around here is restaurants, clothing stores, stores that have been shut down because of the coronavirus,” said Maritza Rivera.
Each of the boxes had fresh produce such as potatoes, onions, cucumbers and apples.
“They’re very fresh,” said Rivera. “Because of coronavirus, a lot of families have been getting canned nonperishable things. So this program specifically is super important. We just thank everybody that is a part of it.”
Rivera also added that families in Waterbury have a tough time accessing food because many of the larger supermarkets are on the outskirts of the city. “Unless you have access to public transportation, which again with the coronavirus, it can be scary to some families. This is something where it might be their only fresh fruit and vegetable for a couple weeks.”
Organizers said they were hoping to get one more shipment of food and they will keep the public posted with regular updates on the city’s website.