USDA Takes Steps to Support Food Sovereignty with the Forest County Potawatomi Community

Monday, March 20, 2023 - 1:00pm
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WASHINGTON, March 20, 2023--The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) today announced it has signed a cooperative agreement with the Forest County Potawatomi Community (FCPC) under the Local Food Purchase Assistance Cooperative Agreement Program (LFPA). Through LFPA, the tribe will purchase and distribute locally grown, produced, and processed food from underserved producers.

“USDA is excited to partner with Forest County Potawatomi Community 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, FCPC will partner with Bodwéwadmi Ktëgan, an underserved food producer, to purchase, package and distribute monthly food boxes in four distribution points within the tribal community. The project aims to support Native American families in Northern Wisconsin who are struggling with the rising cost of food and strengthen tribal food sovereignty.

“Making sure that our tribal members have healthy food options is the first step to ensuring that they can live healthy lifestyles,” said Forest County Potawatomi Chairman James Crawford. “This new partnership will help us bring more locally sourced, healthy food products to our tribal members which will encourage better lifestyles and better living.” 

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.