WASHINGTON, D.C. (WCBD) – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on Tuesday announced an agreement with South Carolina which will source food from local, underserved providers to be distributed across the state.
The Local Food Purchase Assistance Cooperative Agreement Program (LFPA) “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.” It also helps struggling farmers and ranchers keep their products moving.
According to the USDA, “at least 120 farmers, including at least 60 underserved and rural farmers and ranchers” will benefit from the program. The food will be distributed among at least 24 counties in need.
“USDA is excited to partner with South Carolina 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.
Moffitt explained that the LFPA is intended to “improve food and agricultural supply-chain resiliency and increase local food consumption.”
The program will also work closely with South Carolina’s only federally-recognized tribal nation, the Catawba Indian Nation, “to further increase the impact of program funding and to reach members of the nation.”