WASHINGTON, June 7, 2022 -- The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) today announced it has signed a cooperative agreement with New Hampshire under the Local Food Purchase Assistance Cooperative Agreement Program (LFPA). The New Hampshire Department of Agriculture, Markets and Food (NHDAMF) will collaborate with the New Hampshire Food Bank to utilize LFPA funding to expand the New Hampshire Feeding New Hampshire program.
“USDA is excited to partner with New Hampshire 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.”
NHDAMF will subaward procurement activities to the NHFB to expand the NH Feeding NH program. LFPA funding will allow NH Feeding NH to increase its current efforts to purchase vegetables, fruit, and other produce, dairy, and meat from local farmers. At least 170 producers will be identified for purchases with 51% of the producers considered to be underserved. The program will also place an emphasis on the cultivation and purchase of culturally appropriate foods, so that at least 10% of total food purchased is culturally relevant to the state’s growing immigrant and refugee communities.
Food purchases will be distributed to 283 NHFB partner agencies throughout all ten counties. These agencies include homeless shelters, soup kitchens, food pantries, schools, after-school programs, and senior centers. Purchases of culturally relevant food will also enable agencies to better serve communities that would otherwise not use the charitable food system due to a lack of access to culturally relevant foods. NHFB expects 129,470 people will be eligible to receive food through the program.
“This is an extraordinary opportunity for New Hampshire producers to have their fresh products reach a segment of our population which may not ordinarily have access to vegetables grown in New Hampshire. This will also provide a chance for the NHFB and these producers to develop relationships which they would not otherwise have,” said the New Hampshire Department of Agriculture, Markets & Food Commissioner Shawn N. Jasper. “We are hopeful that there will be avenues for these partnerships to continue and grow in the future. NHDAMF is proud to be part of this effort and we look forward to assisting in educating the public about the importance of locally produced foods. We hope that everyone understands that in these challenging times the more food we grow in NH the better we will be able to withstand supply chain issues.”
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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