WASHINGTON, Aug. 24, 2022 -- The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) today announced it has signed a cooperative agreement with Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation under the Local Food Purchase Assistance Cooperative Agreement Program (LFPA). Through LFPA, the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation seeks to purchase and distribute locally grown, produced, and processed food from underserved producers.
“USDA is excited to partner with Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation 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 Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation (MPTN) is a federally recognized tribal nation located in Southeastern Connecticut. With the LFPA funds MPTN will purchase meat, dairy, tribal grown fruits and vegetables, and tribally produced maple syrup from local farmers. They will also purchase healthy frozen meals from Thames Valley Coalition for Community Action, Inc. (TVCCA). The food purchased will be distributed to elderly residents and tribal households on and off the Reservation.
“With today’s challenging economy, we welcome this USDA grant opportunity because it augments our efforts to ensure nutritious, locally-grown and raised foods remain accessible and available to our community,” said Rodney Butler, Chairman of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation. “Ensuring our community’s basic needs are always met remains a top priority for our Tribal Council, and we are grateful to be able to partner with the TVCCA and local farms to contribute to and support our region’s supply chain.”
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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