USDA Takes Steps to Support Food Sovereignty with the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission
December 22, 2022
WASHINGTON, Dec. 21, 2022 -- The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) today announced it has signed a cooperative agreement with the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission (CRITFC) under the Local Food Purchase Assistance Cooperative Agreement Program (LFPA). Through LFPA, the commission and its four member tribes will seek to purchase and distribute locally grown, produced, and processed food from underserved producers.
“USDA is excited to partner with the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission 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. “The Local Food Purchase Cooperative Agreement Program will improve food and agricultural supply-chain resiliency and increase local food consumption around the country.”
CRITFC works with the Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation, the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation of Oregon, and the Nez Perce Tribe. With the LFPA funds, the commission will develop and structure a food delivery system to provide healthier food to underserved tribal communities on their respective reservations along the Columbia River. This program will help re-establish the four tribes’ trade routes and communication systems to build upon the commission’s food sovereignty efforts as they look for ways to improve the choices and diets of their tribal members through food alternatives aligned with traditional diets and access to fresh and nutritious foods.
“We appreciate the USDA’s support in providing this local food purchase assistance investment. CRITFC’s member tribes value the foods our homeland provides, whether that be our First Foods such as salmon, or the garden and farm produce they grow themselves,” said Aja DeCoteau, CRITFC executive director. “By helping develop a food delivery system aligned with our cultural values, this investment will help our tribal communities access fresh and nutritious foods thereby improving their diets and overall well-being. With this funding, CRITFC and our member tribes will continue to be at the center of the decision-making for our food supply along the Columbia River.”
USDA’s Local Food Purchase Assistance Cooperative Agreement Program provides up to $900 million through non-competitive cooperative agreements to enable state, territory, and tribal governments to support local, regional and underserved producers, and maintain or improve food and agricultural supply chain resiliency through the purchase of food produced within the state or within 400 miles of delivery destination. Funding for the program comes from the American Rescue Plan and the Commodity Credit Corporation.
AMS looks forward to continuing to sign agreements under this innovative program that 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.
More information about the program is available on AMS’s Local Food Purchase Assistance Cooperative Agreement Program webpage.
USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. In the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit http://www.usda.gov.