WASHINGTON, Sept. 15, 2022 -- The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) today announced it has signed a cooperative agreement with the Central Council of Tlingit & Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska under the Local Food Purchase Assistance Cooperative Agreement Program (LFPA). Through LFPA, the Central Council of Tlingit & Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska seeks to purchase and distribute locally grown, produced, and processed food from underserved producers.
“USDA is excited to partner with Central Council of Tlingit & Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska 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 support of the LFPA funding, the Central Council of Tlingit & Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska will purchase pacific herring roe spawned on kelp from 15 tribal fishermen and fisherwoman in Southeast Alaska to be distributed to more than 3,000 tribal citizen households. This project will support local Alaska Native food producers who harvest roe on kelp and improve food security in rural Southeast Alaska villages by providing the highly nutritious traditional food directly to tribal citizens.
“Tlingit & Haida is excited to be awarded a cooperative agreement under USDA’s Local Food Purchase Assistance Cooperative Agreement program,” said Tlingit & Haida President Richard Chalyee Éesh Peterson. “This funding comes at a critical time as we work to address food insecurity in our region. With the rising cost of food and limited transportation options, our rural communities are experiencing food shortages like never before. This will help us develop the food systems we need by expanding access to locally grown and harvested food.”
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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