The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) released details of the $26.8 million in Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Program grants announced by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today at the New York Times Food for Tomorrow Conference. The grants are administered by AMS and create economic opportunities for producers, increase access to fresh, healthy food for consumers, and connect rural and urban communities across the country.
“All around the country, we’re seeing farms and small food businesses grow when they tap into markets for local foods,” said AMS Administrator Elanor Starmer. “There’s so much consumer interest in buying local, and these grant programs help build that connection. Whether it’s through farmers markets, food hubs, restaurants or grocery stores, when farms and ranches can sell their products locally, it helps bolster rural economies and improve access to healthy foods for our nation’s families.”
AMS awarded 50 FMPP grants totaling more than $13.4 million to increase domestic consumption of, and access to, locally and regionally produced agricultural products. FMPP grants support direct producer-to-consumer marketing projects such as farmers markets, community-supported agriculture programs, roadside stands, and agritourism.
The LFPP funded 52 grants totaling more than $13.4 million to support the development and expansion of local and regional food business enterprises that process, distribute, aggregate, or store locally or regionally produced food products. LFPP funding goes to projects that develop, improve, and expand local and regional food business intermediary supply chain activities, including processing, distribution, aggregation, and storage of locally or regionally produced food products.
Strengthening local food systems is one of the four pillars of USDA’s efforts to revitalize the rural economy and the 102 projects announced today support rural economies, increase market opportunities for farmers, and help close supply chain gaps in communities across the country.
Since 2009, USDA has invested over $1 billion in more than 40,000 local food businesses and infrastructure projects. This funding is one of the ways that USDA invests in the future of rural America and the nation’s agricultural sector. More information on how USDA investments are connecting producers with consumers, expanding rural economic opportunities, and increasing SNAP access at farmers markets is available in the New Markets, New Opportunities Medium chapter. Under this Administration, USDA has also significantly expanded its efforts to improve access to safe, healthy food for all Americans. More information about USDA efforts to support the health of our next generation can be found on USDA’s Medium chapter, Growing a Healthier Future.