USDA Takes Steps to Support Food Sovereignty with the Yurok Tribe

Monday, November 28, 2022 - 1:00pm
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WASHINGTON, Nov. 28, 2022--The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) today announced it has signed a cooperative agreement with the Yurok Tribe under the Local Food Purchase Assistance Cooperative Agreement Program (LFPA). Through LFPA, the Yurok Tribe Environmental Department (YTED) seek to purchase and distribute locally grown, produced, and processed food from underserved producers.

“USDA is excited to partner with the Yurok 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 YTED Food Sovereignty Program will purchase traditional foods and applicable foods from indigenous producers and other local producers to distribute them to tribal members residing within the seven districts of the Yurok Tribe.

“The agreement will make healthy foods much more accessible on the Yurok Reservation, which is classified as a food desert. It will also support the tribe’s long-term plan to reclaim sovereignty over our food systems,” Yurok Tribe Chairman Joseph L. James. “For the first time, we will be able to provide traditional staples, such as acorns and smoked salmon, to our families as well as our elders. I would like to thank the USDA and the Biden Administration for developing this innovative program to address food insecurity.”

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.