TAMPA, Fla. – For many, it’s just a tomato or an apple, but for local farmers, it’s their livelihood. With restaurants and farmers markets shut down, not much produce is leaving the farm. Agricultural Commissioner Nikki Fried is now hoping to help those farmers get back on their feet with a new website that will connect consumers to fresh fruits and produce. The website is called ”Keep Florida Growing,” and Fried said it’s a one-stop shop for farmers, food banks, consumers and ranchers to all connect with one another so that produce can actually make it off the farm and onto the table. Farmers can list what they have to offer and anyone who’s searching for fresh food can see what’s available and then support the local farmers. Farmers will have access to resources regarding economic assistance, like loans, as well as information on state purchasing programs for agriculture goods. The website also offers a “U-pick farm locator” where farm-fresh produce can be found. Information on food assistance programs, such as meal programs for children while school is closed and emergency food assistance programs for low-income families, can also be found on the site. Commissioner Fried has also asked stores to longer place limits on how many cartons of milk a customer can purchase to help stop farmers from having to dump all of their milk that they cannot sell. She’s also hoping to speed up the loan process so Florida farmers can get relief faster. LINK: To check the website out for yourself, click here .
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