USDA Takes Steps to Support Food Sovereignty with the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin

Thursday, March 30, 2023 - 4:30pm
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WASHINGTON, March 30, 2023 -- The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) today announced it has signed a cooperative agreement with the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin under the Local Food Purchase Assistance Cooperative Agreement Program (LFPA). Through LFPA, the tribe seeks to purchase and distribute locally grown, produced, and processed food from underserved producers.

“USDA is excited to partner with the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin 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 coordinate the procurement of indigenous foods for the Tribal Elder Food Box Program as well as additional purchases to distribute among other communities. The purchased foods will include indigenous and conventional foods from producers, such as white fish, bison, beef, wild rice, apples, and produce.

“The goals of the LFPA Cooperative Agreement align with the program goals of the Tribal Elder Food Box Program, meaning procurement and distribution of local, nutritious foods to our precious tribal elders while creating and supporting indigenous producers who have not had access to steady markets like this before,” said Chairwoman of the Menominee Nation Gena Kakkak. “The LFPA funding certainly assists in maintaining and growing our Great Lakes Intertribal Foods Coalition, a coalition of tribal producers, all 11 tribal nations via designated distribution sites, and key food hub and distribution partners. While our coalition identified a shortfall within the LFPA formula used to allocate funding equitably, USDA/AMS stepped up to the plate with the second round of LFPA funding, issuing a tribal set-aside to ensure equity. As the Chairperson of Menominee Nation, we applaud your commitments to equitable funding for Tribal Nations. Menominee, our indigenous producers, and by extension Wisconsin’s tribal elders give our most sincere thanks and say Maec-waewaenen (Great Thanks) for the funding. We look forward with high expectations to the LFPA plus applications”.

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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