President Donald Trump visited the Flavor First Growers and Packers facility in Mills River, N.C. on Monday to speak about the Farmers to Families Food Box program, which Flavor First has been involved with by packaging and delivering food boxes to those in need. Baptists on Mission partnered with Flavor First in this program and had representatives in attendance. 

Trump was accompanied by his daughter and adviser Ivanka Trump as well as Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue. The focus of Monday’s trip was to draw attention to the work that Flavor First has been doing to support the Trump administration’s food box program, and to thank the workers and volunteers who have been packing 7,000 boxes every week since the beginning of the pandemic. President Trump was met with crowds once he landed at the airport in Asheville, and the crowds continued as supporters and non-supporters gathered along the motorcade route to Flavor First.

Senior Sawyer Hall was one of those individuals who lined the roads, and the whole experience was very patriotic, according to Hall. “It was cool to see the President driving ten feet away from me, and politics aside, it was very cool to have the President of the United States that close to me,” Hall said. “[It was] a once in a lifetime opportunity. I don’t know the next time that I’m going to see the President of the United States, and for him to come through Mills River kind of puts our little town on the map.” 

Sophomore Jake Lindsey was in attendance along the motorcade route, and said it was very interesting to hear the opposing viewpoints being voiced while waiting for the President. “There was a small group of people who were marching around and waving signs supporting Biden, and opposing Trump,” Lindsey said. “The people supporting Biden were overrun by the number of Trump supporters there were though.”

President Trump was given a tour of the Flavor First facility, and then made his way to the crowd of guests outside to give remarks on the food box program, as well as the importance of the upcoming presidential election.

West Henderson High School has a special connection with the food box program, as West alumnus Seth Grant manages the program for Flavor First. Grant oversees the daily packaging, and safety management process, and his hard work and dedication received a mention from owner Kirby Johnson in Johnson’s remarks before President Trump was introduced. “It’s not just about me either. There are a lot of people here at Flavor First who are involved daily, who work hard and make sure these boxes are packed and out the door and to the people that need them, and so it’s nice to have the most powerful person in the world come and recognize the good deeds and the success of the program. It truly is a once in a lifetime opportunity.” 

The Trump administration’s food box program works to purchase fresh produce, dairy and meat products from national, regional and local distributors, whose workforces have been affected by the closure of restaurants and hotels who would traditionally buy their products. The program will supply food boxes of fresh fruits and vegetables, dairy products, meat products and a combination box of fresh produce, dairy or meat products. Distributors will package these products into family-sized boxes, then transport them to food banks, community and faith-based organizations, and other non-profits serving Americans in need.

Trump closed his remarks on Monday by applauding the farmers and distributing partners in the audience for their work in the program. 

“During this time of trial, we’ve seen once and again that the strength of our nation lies in patriotic citizens, like everyone here today,” Trump said. “I’ve met so many of you. Each time you deliver a food box to a family, you show them that, in this country, no one is forgotten.”

By: Johnathan Austin, News Editor

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