WASHINGTON, July 11, 2022 -- The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) today announced it has signed a cooperative agreement with Alaska under the Local Food Purchase Assistance Cooperative Agreement Program (LFPA). Through LFPA, the Alaska Department of Natural Resources Division of Agriculture seeks to purchase and distribute locally grown, produced, and processed food from underserved producers.
“USDA is excited to partner with Alaska to promote economic opportunities for farmers and producers and to increase access to locally sourced, fresh, healthy, and nutritious food in underserved communities,” said USDA Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Jenny Lester Moffitt. “The Local Food Purchase Cooperative Agreement Program will improve food and agricultural supply-chain resiliency and increase local food consumption around the country.”
The Alaska Local Food Purchase Program (AFLPP) will administer LFPA funding for the purchase of locally grown and produced foods from farmers in Alaska. Funds will support growth of regional farming through pilot programs with Qik’rtaq Food Hub, which includes six geographically isolated villages and Steven’s Village tribal buffalo ranch, to provide distribution to small villages and tribes in their areas. ALFPP partners local farmers, village and tribal farms and ranches with local distribution to those in their communities that do not geographically or financially have access to local fresh foods.
The program will provide an income source for Alaska farmers and will expand production, processing, and distribution of products, strengthen regional food systems, and provide local foods to underserved Alaskans who have limited access to locally sourced foods.
“We are excited to be awarded the Local Food Purchase Assistance cooperative agreement from the USDA, Agricultural Marketing Service,” said Mia Kirk, interim Director for the Alaska Division of Agriculture. “This funding comes at crucial time for Alaskans and provides the means to purchase locally produced products for those that may have limited access. It allows us to utilize our own food systems including food hubs, village farms, and farmers markets – as well as develop cooperatives to better supply locally grown foods to the Food Bank of Alaska, village programs, and pantries.”
The LFPA program is authorized by the American Rescue Plan to maintain and improve food and agricultural supply chain resiliency. Through this program, USDA will award up to $400 million through non-competitive cooperative agreements with state and tribal governments to support local, regional, and underserved producers through the purchase of food produced within the state or within 400 miles of delivery destination.
AMS looks forward to continuing to sign agreements under this innovative program that allows state and tribal governments to procure and distribute local and regional foods and beverages that are healthy, nutritious, and unique to their geographic area.
More information about the program is available on AMS’s Local Food Purchase Assistance Cooperative Agreement Program webpage.
USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. In the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit www.usda.gov.
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