USDA Takes Steps to Support Food Sovereignty with the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians


January 26, 2023

WASHINGTON, Jan. 25, 2023 -- The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) today announced it has signed a cooperative agreement with the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians (GTB) under the Local Food Purchase Assistance Cooperative Agreement Program (LFPA). Through LFPA, the tribe seeks to purchase and distribute locally grown, produced, and processed food from underserved producers.

“USDA is excited to partner with Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians 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.”

With the LFPA funds, GTB will partner with Northwest Michigan Community Action Agency Inc. - Northwest Food Coalition (NFC), Goodwill Northern Michigan Food Rescue (Food Rescue), and Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities to purchase food from local producers and distribute it through a network of over 70 food pantries, meal sites and baby pantries; 3 of which are operated by GTB. This program will boost regional food production efforts by establishing critical first sale connections between local food producers and the network of partners at the NFC and the region’s largest employer; GTB.

“The Grand Traverse Band is thankful for the opportunity to partner with Northwest Food Coalition, Goodwill Northern Michigan, and Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities, as well as the opportunity to have a positive impact on regional and local food production as we address food insecurity,” said Chairman David M. Arroyo.

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.


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