Dear Community Members,
Today, High Plains Food Bank received a direct inquiry from a concerned community member in relation to a social media post they'd seen circulating regarding the removal of letters from USDA Farmers to Families Food Box Program. We wanted to share the information we provided to that person with the community as a whole.
In the latest phase of the USDA Farmers to Families Food Box Program, vendors are contractually obligated to include a letter from the White House inside the boxes. However, distributors such as food banks and other nonprofits have the option to remove the letter. Last week, after careful consideration, High Plains Food Bank chose to remove the letter from the food boxes prior to distribution.
Since 1982, the High Plains Food Bank has taken great pride in our operation as a nonpartisan organization. That commitment to nonpartisanship has allowed us to work closely with our federal, state, and local officials to fight hunger, regardless of political affiliation. We believe that ending hunger requires a commitment from elected leaders of all party affiliations, backgrounds, and geographies. Hunger has never been a partisan issue, which means ending hunger is up to all of us.
In addition to our commitment to nonpartisanship, High Plains Food Bank is designated as a 501(c)(3) organization, meaning we do not directly or indirectly participate in any political campaign on behalf of or in opposition to any candidate for elective public office.
As we're all aware, the current political climate is highly divisive. Our intent in removing the letter was to protect the integrity of our nonpartisanship and to avoid potential political fallout, not to create it.
Especially now, during the ongoing pandemic, a rising number of our neighbors struggle with food insecurity. Federal nutrition programs like SNAP, TEFAP, Child Nutrition programs, WIC, and more recently, the Farmers to Families Food Boxes, play a critical role in helping food banks meet unprecedented need across our communities.
We remain singularly focused on serving everyone in need with healthy, nutritious food. To do that, we need the support of our community as a whole. We remain as committed to our nonpartisan advocacy work as ever and are here to ensure everyone in our community has access to the nutritious food they need every day.
High Plains Food Bank Team