USDA announces scheme to aid Californian consumers and producers

Posted: 28 July 2022 | | No comments yet

The USDA has revealed the scope of the new scheme, which will award up to $400 million worth of non-competitive contracts to local producers to help ease food insecurity in California.

California food bank

The LFPA will seek to provide affordable food for those who need it while supporting local growers

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced a new scheme in California, which it hopes will provide more affordable food to those who need while also providing stability and consistency for some farmers in the state.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the Local Food Purchase Assistance Cooperative Agreement Program (LFPA) with California during a visit to a food bank in the city of Woodland. The LFPA is a programme authorised through the President’s American Rescue Plan, which the USDA claims has invested $400 million to make food more affordable for more Americans and help stabilise agricultural supply chains.

Through LFPA, the California Department of Social Services will purchase and distribute locally grown, produced, and processed food from underserved producers.

“Providing access to new markets for more producers and helping more Americans experiencing food insecurity is going to take new partnerships, new innovations, and new ways of thinking – and the best solutions can often be local,” said Secretary Vilsack.

“This programme provides tribes, states, and US territories the ability to work in new and creative ways with their local partners, establishing connections between their producers and underserved communities. The food purchases made through LFPA will provide consistent access to locally and regionally sourced food, helping provide economic stability for farmers, producers, and families, and improve health outcomes through nutrition and increased food security.”

“Through this innovative program, California will be able to support local and underserved farmers while expanding access to farm-fresh foods for families in need,” added Governor Gavin Newsom.

“We look forward to working with federal, state and local partners to strengthen the state’s food systems and support communities across California.”

Through the programme, the 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 the delivery destination.

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