WASHINGTON, June 30, 2022 -- The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) today announced it has signed a cooperative agreement with Puerto Rico under the Local Food Purchase Assistance Cooperative Agreement Program (LFPA). The Department of Agriculture of Puerto Rico will use LFPA funding to increase the island’s food system’s resilience and promote economic opportunities for underserved producers.
“USDA is excited to partner with Puerto Rico 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.”
LFPA funds will be distributed to nonprofit organizations to procure local foods from small and underserved producers. Puerto Rico’s program aims to promote economic growth for local producers without access to sales in supermarket chains or lack the marketing capacity. Puerto Rico’s Department of Agriculture expects that over 800 underserved Puerto Rican farmers will benefit from the program.
“We are thrilled to have been awarded with this grant that will boost our agricultural economy by promoting fresh local purchase directly from our small farmers to the nonprofit organizations. This will help enormously the communities in need,” said Puerto Rico Agricultural Department Secretary Ramón González Beiró.
The department has selected 68 nonprofit organizations to distribute 250,000 food boxes with an assortment of seasonal fruit. The goal is to provide healthy, locally grown food to rural and underserved communities throughout the island.
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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