USDA Secretary visits Triangle companies who play vital role in North Carolina's food supply

Monday, June 15, 2020
USDA Farmers to Families provides fresh food during COVID-19
USDA Farmers to Families provides fresh food during COVID-19.

CREEDMOOR NC, N.C. (WTVD) -- Putting out $98 Billion worth of food per year, North Carolina plays a huge role in food supply. But our state also has startling statistics on food insecurity.

USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue met with the companies and organizations fighting both issues on Monday.

Perdue started his day at Pairwise, a Triangle tech start up that is focused on creating produce using genome editing.

"The vision here using modern technology is amazing in that they're going to be able to create products such as pitless cherries, seedless blackberries," said Perdue.

Perdue and state Agriculture Commissioner Troxler got a taste of the technology. With COVID-19 putting a strain on food supply, Perdue says companies like Pairwise can help the industry survive.


"They're learning the techniques of how they can adapt. Whether it's a change in climate or a pandemic. They are developing techniques of how we can move and be nimble," said Perdue.

The secretary's visit continued to Creedmoor where USDA's Farmers to Families program provides fresh food to families in need, a lifeline during the pandemic. Baptists on Mission powers the distribution.

"We're just so thankful this program is available. It's helping farmers and it's helping people who need the food because of COVID-19," said Richard Brunson from Baptists on Mission.