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News > Press Releases > Press Release

Press Release

Release Date: July 01, 2020

by Chickasaw Nation Media Relations Office



  • Dozens of Chickasaw Nation volunteers take part in the logistics of the Farmers to Families Food Distribution events. It is the final step in a process involving the Chickasaw Nation, USDA and Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma, which helps ensure Chickasaws and other Oklahomans have the food they need during these unprecedented times.

ADA, Okla. – The Chickasaw Nation is collaborating with the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma for Farmers to Families drive-thru food distribution events. Through this initiative, food boxes will be distributed at no charge to Chickasaw citizens and those within surrounding communities.

Upcoming events are planned for July 9 in Grady County and July 23 in Garvin County, with specific times and locations being planned. Check Chickasaw Nation social media at Facebook.com/TheChickasawNation or Twitter.com/ChickasawNation for updates.

The project has previously supplied hundreds of food boxes to Chickasaws and community members in places like Marietta and Purcell.

Boxes made possible with USDA funding include fresh produce, sometimes dairy and meats, sourced from local farmers and suppliers. After receiving successful bids from local distributors, the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma transports boxes to the Chickasaw Nation, which then distributes the boxes to the general community via Chickasaw Nation Farmers to Families events.

This program is one more example of businesses, organizations, government agencies and others working together to help ensure Oklahomans have the food they need during these unprecedented times.

Chickasaw Nation efforts have also included cooperation with Walmart (serving fresh produce to more than 2,000 families in Ada and Tishomingo), the PepsiCo Foundation’s Food for Good program (delivering a total of 12,480 meals within Chickasaw Country in response to the COVID-19 pandemic) as well as Share Our Strength (shipping meals directly to food insecure children who don’t live near food sites).

These efforts are in addition to the longstanding food programs the Chickasaw Nation regularly offers, such as the Summer EBT for Children Program, the GetFresh! Nutrition Program, the Food Distribution Program, the Farmers’ Market Programs, the Farm to School Program, the WIC Supplemental Nutrition Program, the Packed Promise Program and the Impa’chi Kids Meal Program. These programs have continued to address food issues during the pandemic, Impa’chi in particular serving drive-thru meals at 30 locations throughout the Chickasaw Nation this summer.

About the Farmers to Families Food Distribution Program

As part of the Coronavirus Farm Assistance Program, the USDA exercises authority under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act to purchase and distribute agricultural products to those in need.

Through this program, USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) partnered with national, regional and local suppliers, whose workforce has been significantly impacted by the closure of restaurants, hotels and other food service businesses, to purchase up to $3 billion in fresh produce, dairy and meat products to be distributed to those in need.

According to nutrition services deputy director Joy Standridge of the Chickasaw Nation, the program helps producers, food distributors and families in need during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This project is designed to help provide relief to the food supply chain devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic,” Standridge said. “This initiative provides relief to farmers and distributors who lost demand for their food products. It provides relief to food banks and other nonprofits by making sure the products are made available already packed in boxes, which reduces the number of volunteers needed to work at each event.”

The federal program will purchase $461 million in fresh fruits and vegetables, $317 million in a variety of dairy products, $258 million in meat products and $175 million in a combination box of fresh produce, dairy or meat products nationally.

Suppliers will package these products totaling $1.2 billion into family-sized boxes, then transport them to food banks, community and faith-based organizations, and other nonprofits serving Americans in need through June 30, 2020.

For more information, contact Chickasaw Nation Nutrition Services, (580) 436-7255.