ULSTER TOWNSHIP- “We’ve had cars here since 8:30 this morning,” said Lynette Shedden, fiancée to dairy farmer Eric J Harnish.
At least 600 cars rolled up to the dairy drive thru giveaway to pick up free boxes of food for coronavirus relief on Tuesday afternoon at Harnish Farms.
It was a no-contact event to avoid the spread of COVID-19. People stayed in their cars and popped their trunks for volunteers to load up.
While supplies lasted, each car received about 34 pounds of food, including: a gallon of milk, a box of meat, a box of produce and a box of dairy.
Shedden said that they made a list of people who called ahead, saying they couldn’t attend the event, to have food delivered to them at home from neighbors and friends.
“There’s still a large need in Bradford County,” she said.
The United States Department of Agriculture first announced the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program back in April. The CFAP started with 3.2 million dollars to spend on food to support farmers and citizens.
The giveaway vendor, Sysco Foods, has been partnering with the USDA to provide full trucks for drive-thru events.
Harnish Farms had enough volunteers to create two lanes for the drive thru. Shedden said they had volunteers from Child Hunger Outreach Partners, state and local representatives, people from Sheshequin’s fire companies, Vietnam veterans, and the Dairy Princess.
“I think it’s amazing to help the community in this way, bringing 27K pounds of food to Bradford County to give out to over 500 families,” she said.
“This is to help out the farmers, to move food and get it in the hands of people that need them,” said Steve Terzo, director of business development with the American Dairy Association North East.
Terzo and his team have been organizing drive-thru giveaways for the past five months. “We’ve done over 800K gallons of milk in the communities, and over a million pounds of food,” he said.
Tuesday’s event may have been one of the last dairy drive thru giveaways in the county. CFAP will be over at the end of the month, unless the USDA puts more funds into the program.