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USDA Announces Its Local Food Purchase Assistance Cooperative Agreement with Tennessee

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) today announced it has signed a cooperative agreement with Tennessee under the Local Food Purchase Assistance Cooperative Agreement Program (LFPA). Through LFPA, the Tennessee Department of Agriculture (TDA) seeks to purchase and distribute locally grown, produced, and processed food from underserved producers.

“USDA is excited to partner with Tennessee 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 Tennessee Department of Agriculture (TDA) will partner with Tennessee’s Feeding America Food Banks to procure and distribute local and regional foods and beverages produced by underserved farmers. These healthy and nutritious produce and beverages, that are unique to Tennessee’s geographical region, will be distributed to insecure population in the state’s underserved communities.

“There is nothing quite like eating a delicious and healthy meal made with fresh, local ingredients,” Agriculture Commissioner Charlie Hatcher, said. “The LFPA will not only increase access to those ingredients for our neighbors in need. It will also benefit our farmers who contribute to the safest, most nutritious food system in the world. The Tennessee Department of Agriculture is proud to take part in this program.”

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.

Source : usda.gov

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