USDA Announces Its Local Food Purchase Assistance Cooperative Agreement with Hawaii

Wednesday, August 31, 2022 - 1:00pm
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WASHINGTON, Aug. 31, 2022 -- The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) today announced it has signed a cooperative agreement with Hawaii under the Local Food Purchase Assistance Cooperative Agreement Program (LFPA). Through LFPA, the Hawaii Department of Education seeks to purchase and distribute locally grown, produced, and processed food from underserved producers.

“USDA is excited to partner with Hawaii 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.”

With the LFPA funds, the Hawaii Department of Education will provide food security and stability to students and their families who belong to underserved communities by providing produce boxes during school intersession when students are normally not provided meals. The program will support and increase local food procurement and expand relationships between public schools and agricultural communities.

“The Hawaii Department of Education is thrilled to have been awarded a $1.8 million Local Food Purchase Assistance grant. This support will be used to procure locally sourced produce for food boxes that will be distributed in low-income communities to students and their families during school intersessions,” Keith Hayashi, superintendent for Hawaii public schools, said. “This is especially important as school meals are sometimes the only source of nutrition for many of our students and meals typically are not provided during intersessions. This initiative will help provide additional food security and stability to students and their families and expand the Department's relationship with Hawaii's agricultural communities, food hubs and local farmers."

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.


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