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  • Writer's pictureLucas Nava

Moffitt: LFPAs 'increase local food consumption around the country'

The USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) and the SLT signed the cooperative agreement under the Local Food Purchase Assistance Cooperative Agreement Program (LFPA) on Dec. 13, the USDA announced at the time.

"With the LFPA funds, the tribe will procure domestic and tribal foods from underserved producers and distribute them to underserved and impoverished communities," the USDA states in the announcement.

"The purchased foods will include bison, grains, produce, proteins, and frozen meals that include traditional foods from a Tribal owned vendor," the agency states. "This program will allow communities to access healthier meals that incorporate traditional foods."

Spirit Lake Tribal Chairman Douglas Yankton said SLT is "happy" to help promote nutritional security for the tribe by building sustainable relationships with tribal farmers, ranchers and producers, according to the announcement.

“I truly believe no one knows the needs of our tribal communities better than the tribe and the people we serve," Yankton said in the announcement.

Yankton said that that the SLT continues to "show our resiliency as tribal members" despite recent challenges such as the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Our congressional leaders made sure that Indian Country was not an afterthought through tribal allocations in the CARES Act and the American Rescue Plan Act, both of which provided seed funding for our Local Food Purchase Agreement,” Yankton said.

LFPAs provide up to $900 million to help state, territory and tribal governments support local and regional food producers, with a focus on producers from historically underserved communities. Funding also helps local communities build supply-chain resiliency by purchasing food produced in the state or within 400 miles of its destination, according to the announcement.

“USDA is excited to partner with Spirit Lake Tribe to promote economic opportunities for farmers and producers and to increase access to locally sourced, fresh, healthy, and nutritious food in underserved communities,” Jenny Lester Moffitt, USDA Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs, said in the announcement.

“The Local Food Purchase Cooperative Agreement Program will improve food and agricultural supply-chain resiliency and increase local food consumption around the country,” Moffitt said.

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