LFPA Executive Summary – Minnesota

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture intends to use Local Food Purchase Assistance Program Cooperative Agreement funds to establish a program that allows communities to determine for themselves how local food can be procured and distributed to underserved individuals. While this funding is a two-year economic investment, it provides a unique opportunity to build relationships and capacity among stakeholders and the agency. Based on initial input with members of the Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s Emerging Farmers Working Group and two public listening sessions, we propose establishing a framework for ongoing public engagement that can support community-informed decisions on the continued direction of program design, implementation, and evaluation of Minnesota’s LFPA funds. Following extensive engagement during summer 2022, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture will issue a call for community procurement and distribution project proposals in fall 2022. These proposals are expected to encompass a wide range of models for local food procurement and distribution, knowing that there is no one-size-fits-all model that can effectively serve the whole state. Procurement and distribution will take place during 2023 and 2024. Assessment of the public engagement processes used throughout this program will support the continued integration of stakeholder feedback into agency initiatives and drive how the agency supports more resilient local and regional food systems in Minnesota in collaboration with stakeholders.