President Donald Trump is set to visit the Asheville area Aug. 24.
Trump will go to Mills River in Henderson County to visit a Farmers to Families Food Box program funded through the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program, according to a White House statement.
He will tour Flavor 1st Growers and Packers, an organization that partners with Baptists on Mission to build the Farmers to Families Food Boxes. The tour will show how the boxes are packaged and placed into refrigerated trucks and then delivered to families in need. Following the tour, he will deliver remarks outside.
The program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture whose secretary Sonny Perdue will accompany the president along with his daughter Ivanka. The Farmers to Families Food Box Program is intended to aid American farmers, ranchers, and distributors and support food banks and food insecure families.
The $3 billion program funded by the CARES Act has delivered 70 million family-sized food boxes from American farmers to families and others in need, the statement said.
Baptists on Mission was awarded a USDA contract for the Farmers to Families Food Box Program. They are the primary distributor of the boxes and partner with Flavor 1st to build the boxes with fresh produce. Once the boxes are packaged, Baptists on Mission moves the boxes to 200 non-profits, food banks and faith-based organizations across the state.
Ivanka Trump, who serves as adviser to her father, praised the food program’s dual role.
“We are deeply appreciative of our strong and innovative partners like Baptists on Mission and Flavor 1st Growers and Packers that allow us to continue the fight to feed our nation’s hungry, support our farmers and strengthen our workforce,” she said in the statement.
This will be President Trump’s 11th visit to North Carolina and at least third to the Asheville area which he visited twice while campaigning in 2016. In 2013 he and his wife Melania were among a crowd of notables who celebrated Billy Graham’s 95th birthday at the Grove Park Inn.
Last month, Trump indicated he would be in North Carolina to accept his party’s nomination for a second term. Charlotte is scheduled to host the official business of the Republican National Convention, but Trump criticized Gov. Roy Cooper and said he would move high-profile speeches including his own because of the state’s COVID-19 pandemic limits on large gatherings. He selected Jacksonville, Florida, but abruptly canceled events there after local officials raised safety concerns.
Trump won North Carolina in 2016, though polls show presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden with a single-digit lead in the state.
This story will be updated.
Joel Burgess has lived in WNC for more than 20 years, covering politics, government and other news. He’s written award-winning stories on topics ranging from gerrymandering to police use of force. Please help support this type of journalism with a subscription to the Citizen Times.