20 September 2022, US: The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) today announced it has signed a cooperative agreement with Arkansas under the Local Food Purchase Assistance Cooperative Agreement Program (LFPA). Through LFPA, the Arkansas Department of Agriculture seeks to purchase and distribute locally grown, produced, and processed food from underserved producers.
“USDA is excited to partner with Arkansas 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 funding, the Arkansas Local Food Purchase Assistance Program (ARLFPA) will strengthen local food systems in Arkansas by supporting local and underserved farmers and producers through building and expanding opportunities while ensuring distribution of fresh, nutritious foods in rural, remote, and underserved communities.
“We are proud to be a part of the Local Food Purchase Assistance Cooperative Agreement. This innovative program not only provides nutritious food that will be distributed to families in need across our state, but it will also economically support local farmers and other Arkansas-based food producers. It is a true win-win, and we are eager to see the positive impacts that this program will bring to our state,” said Arkansas Department of Human Services Secretary Cindy Gillespie.
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.
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