WASHINGTON, Aug. 29, 2022 -- The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) today announced it has signed a cooperative agreement with Maryland under the Local Food Purchase Assistance Cooperative Agreement Program (LFPA). Through LFPA, the Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) seeks to purchase and distribute locally grown, produced, and processed food from underserved producers.
“USDA is excited to partner with Maryland 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.”
Through the Local Food Purchase Assistance program, MDA will partner with the Maryland Food Bank to assist underserved farmers in urban areas in growing fresh local produce that will be distributed in urban food deserts. Within that partnership, they will also collaborate with the Capitol Area Food Bank to distribute $5.955 million of fresh, local produce and other agricultural products to address the hunger population in Maryland.
"Maryland is excited to partner with the USDA and participate in the Local Food Purchase Assistance Cooperative Agreement. Entering this agreement will continue to ensure Maryland's food supply chain is strong as we continue to recover from the pandemic. Having these tools available not only benefits the consumer, but the farmers and those in the ag community who provide nutritious food throughout the State" said Secretary Joseph Bartenfelder.
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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