Home USDA announces local food purchase assistance cooperative agreement with Virginia
Local

USDA announces local food purchase assistance cooperative agreement with Virginia

Crystal Graham
Farmers Market
(© Rawpixel.com – stock.adobe.com)

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service announced it has signed a cooperative agreement with Virginia under the Local Food Purchase Assistance Cooperative Agreement program.

Through LFPA, the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services will purchase and distribute locally grown, produced, and processed food from underserved producers for distribution to families in need.

“Local food purchase assistance cooperative agreement grant funds will increase the amount of local farm products purchased for distribution to underserved families, and in doing so will benefit Virginia’s agricultural industry while strengthening our local food systems,” said VDACS Commissioner Joseph Guthrie. “We thank the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service for this partnership as this funding provides us with another resource to address food insecurity in Virginia and collaborate with farmers and agribusinesses to ensure agriculture has a productive and prosperous future in the Commonwealth.”

With the LFPA funds, VDACS will partner with agencies with the capacity to procure foods from local sources, focusing on underserved farmers and vendors.

“USDA is excited to partner with Virginia 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.”

VDACS estimates the program will purchase food from 166 local farmers to then distribute the food to 164,000 individuals per month with a goal of ensuring the program reaches all areas of the Commonwealth.

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.

Grant applications will be accepted up to 5 p.m. on August 5. View the application for more information.

Crystal Graham

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked for nearly 25 years as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.