Planting Seeds - Food & Farming News from CDFA

USDA announces local food purchase agreement with California

USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack (right-front) during a tour today of the Yolo Food Bank in Woodland. First Partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom is next to Secretary Vilsack, and CDFA Secretary Karen Ross is next to the First Partner. USDA Undersecretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Jenny Lester Moffitt, a former CDFA undersecretary, is standing behind Secretary Vilsack and the First Partner.

From a USDA news release

Today, during a visit to the Yolo County Food Bank in Woodland, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) has signed a cooperative agreement with California under the Local Food Purchase Assistance Cooperative Agreement Program (LFPA).

The LFPA is a program authorized through the President Biden’s American Rescue Plan, which invested $400 million to make food more affordable for more Americans and help stabilize agricultural supply chains, with $43 million coming to California. Through LFPA, the California Department of Social Services will seek to 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 program provides tribes, states, and U.S. 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.”

The Department of Social Services will partner with CDFA, the California Department of Public Health, and the California Association of Food Banks to purchase food from local and underserved farmers throughout the state

“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,” said 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.”

Note: Secretary Ross spoke at today’s event.

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