Sep 6, 2022Florida to receive $25 million for local food programs
The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Service has signed an almost $25 million cooperative agreement with the U.S. Department of Agriculture to fund local food purchases.
The $24.8 million agreement under the Local Food Purchase Assistance Cooperative Agreement Program (LFPA) provides funds to the Florida agriculture department’s Division of Food, Nutrition and Wellness to buy and distribute locally grown, produced and processed food from underserved producers.
“This influx of federal funds will allow Florida farmers and producers to build sustainable and resilient market opportunities, with an emphasis on small and underserved producers,” Florida Agricultural Commissioner Nikki Fried said in a news release. “By finding new opportunities for our producers, we are expanding our food distribution network to reach underserved communities and adapt to local challenges. I want to thank the USDA for this partnership as we take another step to reduce food insecurity and create a stronger food network for all Floridians.”
FDACS will use the $24.8 million grant to maintain and improve Florida’s food and agricultural supply chain resiliency. The new program will focus on fostering long-term and in-state relationships, with an emphasis on small and underserved producers, to create sustainable market opportunities for state producers and increase the amount of product distributed to underserved populations outside the normal food distribution network. By empowering local producers, the program will connect food banks, food pantries, and other hunger-based organizations with new food sources to address the unique food insecurity issues in their communities.
The LFPA program, authorized by the American Rescue Plan and administered by the USDA, is awarding funding 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.
The FDACS Division of Food, Nutrition and Wellness conducts, supervises and administers child nutrition and commodity food distribution programs that are carried out using state or federal funds.