PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank is holding another food distribution at PPG Paints Arena.

The families are receiving fresh fruit and produce, thanks to a new program connection local farmers and food distributors to get healthy food to those in need.

With the Farmers to Families Food Box Program, the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank will get 1.3 million pounds of fresh produce each month. They expect the program to last six months.

The Farmers to Families food box program, is part of the CARES Act in response to the pandemic.

It gives money to food distributors who are able to connect with local farmers and get their products to food banks, and those in need.

“This is a great testament to Pittsburgh at it’s best. With a boost from the federal government we’re coming together today to provide fresh frusit and vegetable to our neighbors in need,” said Lisa Scales, President and CEO, Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank

Western Pennsylvania’s largest produce distributor, Paragon Foods, is working with farmers like Dawson’s Orchards, to secure the produce for the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank.

“That’s what we’re here for today, to connect the farmers and the local families in need and we’re in between,” Elaine Bellin, President and CEO, Paragon Foods.

“We have apples right now, of course not much growing but apples can store year round, so we can package those,” said Carolyn McQuiston of Dawson’s Orchards.

The Food Bank says 40% of the families they serve have some diet-related diseases, so it’s ideal to give them fresh produce.

“One of the most important things we can do is not just alleviate hunger, but we need to bring healthy fruit and vegetable to those people who are most at risk,” said Tom Stengel, President and CEO, United Fresh Produce Association

Each box of produce is 21-25 pounds. The Food Bank plans to distribute 55,000 boxes.

More information on the Coronavirus pandemic:

Lisa Washington