Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS) proposes a project to purchase and distribute $1,800,000 of Iowa grown & produced foods to underserved communities. The goal is to build a sustainable program to increase access to local food and improve supply chain resiliency by building partnerships with local producers, socially disadvantaged farmers, and underserved communities.
To accomplish this, we will partner with Iowa Valley RC&D, Practical Farmers of Iowa, ISU Extension and Outreach, Iowa’s Food Hub Managers Working Group (FHMWG), Iowa Food Bank Association (IFBA) and the Meskwaki Nation to create a program that:
- Provides an opportunity for States and Tribal organizations to strengthen their local food system and support local farmers through building and expanding economic opportunities. We expect that at least 300 farmers and ranchers will benefit from this project, with focus on socially disadvantaged farmers. This includes creation of a tiered equitable purchasing standard. Socially disadvantaged producers will include farmers of color, women farmers, refugee & immigrant farmers, LGBTQ farmers and Veteran farmers.
- Establishes and broadens partnerships with farmers and food distribution to underserved communities by creating purchasing assistance models. In addition to the benefit to farmers, other beneficiaries include those entities receiving products through distribution networks across all 99 counties in Iowa. Two thousand food distribution sites will be established with food bank customers, food hub distribution partners, and the Meskwaki Nation.
- Establishes a framework for long term partnerships between Iowa’s food banks and food hubs to grow markets for Iowa farmers and producers.