The Pennsylvania Local Food Purchase Assistance Cooperative Agreement Program (PA-LFPA) will be modeled after Pennsylvania’s successful state-funded PASS (Pennsylvania Agricultural Surplus System) Program. Unlike the PASS Program, however, which seeks to first recover food that might otherwise go to waste, the PA-LFPA will work with Pennsylvania’s local food system to exclusively procure top-graded, high-quality product for distribution throughout the charitable feeding system which serves all 67 counties in Pennsylvania. Through the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture’s (PDA’s) continuing partnership with Feeding Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania state-association of Feeding America food banks, and the 13 large, regional food banks with whom they already partner to administer the PASS Program, the PA-LFPA will leverage its experience with the PASS Program to continue to provide low-income Pennsylvanians with access to locally-produced, healthy, nutritious foods and to make further inroads with serving underserved communities all across the commonwealth.
With a goal of distributing PA-produced food products to at least 1 million low-income households over the grant period, the PA-LFPA will also provide a direct financial benefit to Pennsylvania’s local food system. Through this program, PDA will be able to work with increasing numbers of local producers, including socially disadvantaged farmers/producers and very small farmers whose production capacity can be matched with local agencies. Through the PA-LFPA, PDA will be able to continue to achieve the co-equal goals it set with the PASS program – feeding low-income Pennsylvanians and providing vital economic support to Pennsylvania’s local food system.