USDA Takes Steps to Support Food Sovereignty with the Cowlitz Indian Tribe

Wednesday, November 9, 2022 - 1:00pm
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WASHINGTON, Nov. 9, 2022 -- The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) today announced it has signed a cooperative agreement with the Cowlitz Indian Tribe under the Local Food Purchase Assistance Cooperative Agreement Program (LFPA). Through LFPA, the Cowlitz Indian Tribe seek to purchase and distribute locally grown, produced, and processed food from underserved producers.

“USDA is excited to partner with the Cowlitz Indian Tribe 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 LFPA funds, the tribe will work to improve nutrition security and increase food sovereignty for tribal members. They will partner with local food producers to ensure growth in the tribe’s local economy and agriculture sustainability. The fresh and nutritious purchased foods will be delivered to over 800 historically underserved American Indian families living in Western Washington State.

“Under LFPA, the Tribe will use its competitive procurement process to purchase fresh, healthy foods from local producers and distribute them to Tribal Elders and local American Indian and Alaska Native members,” said Chairwoman Patty Kinswa-Gaiser. “The Tribe is thankful to be a recipient of the LFPA grant. We look forward to establishing partnerships with local producers to help increase fresh, traditional food access for our tribal and AI and AN communities.”

USDA’s Local Food Purchase Assistance Cooperative Agreement Program provides up to $900 million through non-competitive cooperative agreements to enable state, territory, and tribal governments to support local, regional and underserved producers, and maintain or improve food and agricultural supply chain resiliency through the purchase of food produced within the state or within 400 miles of delivery destination.  Funding for the program comes from the American Rescue Plan and the Commodity Credit Corporation.

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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