WASHINGTON, Aug. 03, 2022 -- The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) today announced it has signed a cooperative agreement with the Blue Lake Rancheria Tribe to purchase and distribute locally grown, produced, and processed food from underserved producers under the Local Food Purchase Assistance Cooperative Agreement Program (LFPA).
“USDA is excited to partner with the Blue Lake Rancheria 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.”
The tribe seeks to expand its nutrition programs and strengthen its local food systems through local food purchasing from underserved farmers and producers. They anticipate purchasing 11,000 pounds of local produce and 4,400 pounds of local meats through the LFPA program, assuring underserved communities receive fresh local food.
“The Blue Lake Rancheria Tribe is honored to receive grant funds, which will help expand the tribe’s food sovereignty programming, and increase consumption and purchase of locally grown food on tribal lands. The food boxes with seasonal fresh produce grown on property, and by local farmers in the region, will be delivered monthly to tribal households” said Chairman Claudia Brundin. “Currently, fresh produce from Daluviwi’ Community Garden is used for the tribe’s elder nutrition program, which serves about 90 tribal elders in the region. The food boxes will further the tribe's goals to live sustainably, and the programming will exemplify how to strengthen food systems in Indian Country.”
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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