Thousands of supporters lined the roads around the Asheville Regional Airport on Monday to catch a glimpse of President Donald Trump as he visited Western North Carolina.
Around 2,000 supporters filled an airport hanger to see President Trump arrive on Marine One and another couple of hundred gathered at Flavor 1st Growers and Packers to hear the President’s remarks on the Farmers to Families Food Box Program.
Local leaders including Representative Kevin Corbin and Senator Jim Davis were among the hundreds who turned out to welcome the President to North Carolina.
“It was an awesome meeting about the cooperation between the federal government and our local farmers,” said Rep. Kevin Corbin. “We are working to see that food is sent to the folks who need it the most. President Trump is totally supportive of what we need to help our local farmers. We will survive this pandemic and come out better than we were before.”
Republican candidates including Lt. Governor Candidate Mark Robinson and Congressional Candidate Madison Cawthorn were both on hand, and President Trump recognized Cawthorn specifically.
“If I had a face like Madison I would have been President 20 years ago,” President Trump said. “Madison Cawthorn is a real star. You are going to be a star of the party.”
Trump and his daughter Ivanka Trump, who serves as a White House Senior Advisor, visited the Farmers to Families Food Box program site in Mills River.
Flavor 1st Growers and Packers partners with Baptists on Mission to build the Farmers to Families Food Boxes and is just one participating in the $3 billion Coronavirus Food Assistance Program, which began in April.
The White House reports that the program has distributed nearly 70 million family-sized boxes to those in need during the pandemic.
“Many farmers had no place to send their crops or livestock at the same time families across the country were in need of groceries, they wanted to eat well. And next year they are going be eating better than ever before because we are going to have a tremendous year,” said President Trump.
President Trump announced during his visit to Mills River that because of the success of the program, he would be allocating an additional billion dollars to the program.
“Each time you deliver a food box to a family, you show them that, in this country, no one is forgotten,” said President Trump.
Ivanka Trump and U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, who also accompanied the president on the tour, spearheaded the Farmers to Families Food Box Program which was launched in the first days of the pandemic.
“With nearly 70 million boxes of nutritious, locally-sourced fresh fruit, vegetable, milk and meat delivered to date, we are deeply appreciative of our strong and innovative partners like Baptists on Mission and Flavor First Growers and Packers that allow us to continue the fight to feed our nation’s hungry, support our farmers and strengthen our workforce,” Ivanka Trump 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 food grower and packer, Flavor First, to build the boxes of fresh and nutritious produce. Once the boxes are packaged, Baptists on Mission moves the boxes to 200 nonprofits, food banks and faith-based organizations across the state.
Ivanka addressed Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians Chief Richard Sneed who was in attendance. The Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians receives 800 boxes from the program each week.
President Trump’s stop in Asheville came after he made a surprise stop at the Republican National Convention in Charlotte where he formally accepted the Republican nomination for a second term.
For photos of President Donald Trump’s visit to Asheville, North Carolina, visit The Southern Scoop on Facebook.