Iowa local food purchasing assistance program receives funding boost

IARN — Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig announced today that the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship has received an additional $2.9 million for utilization in the Iowa Local Food Purchasing Assistance Program (ILFPA). The statewide program launched in June of 2022 to facilitate the purchase and distribution of Iowa grown and produced food for use by underserved communities.

The program, which also received an extension through May of 2025, is funded through the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) via the Commodity Credit Corporation Charter Act. Iowa originally received approximately $2.7 million, and the extension adds an additional $2.9 million, bringing the total to over $5.6 million in program funding. The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship has an operating agreement with Iowa Valley Resource Conservation and Development (Iowa Valley RC&D), which will continue to lead project management and ensure successful program implementation.

“Given the rising consumer interest in local foods, I love that we can build connections between Iowa farmers and Iowa consumers while also strengthening supply chains,” said Secretary Naig. “The Iowa Local Food Purchasing Assistance Program establishes the foundation for longer term partnerships that will create new markets for farmers, increase access to nutritious food and help our community members who are food insecure.”

During the first phase of the program, $684,456 in food value was paid to farmers and producers in the state, including nearly $393,193 to socially disadvantaged farmers.

ILFPA is expected to benefit at least 300 Iowa farmers. With a reach of 2,000 food distribution sites through partnerships with 16 distributors, including food hubs, food banks, and the Meskwaki Nation, the decentralized emphasis allows local specialists to meet the community’s needs through the implementation plans they design
for their area.

To learn more about the program or how to participate, visit www.iowalfpa.org or
https://iowaagriculture.gov/ILFPA.

Story courtesy of the Iowa Agribusiness Radio Network.

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