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New $400K Grant Opportunity to Increase Local Food Access Opens October 30

October 16, 2023
farmers market

USDA Local Food Purchase Assistance (LFPA) Plus connects Vermont farmers to underserved communities   

October 16, 2023 | Montpelier, VT – The Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets (VAAFM) announces the release of a request for applications (RFA) for farmers, producers, and organizations to apply for Local Food Purchase Assistance (LFPA) Plus funding. Approximately $400,000 will be awarded to farms and organizations that demonstrate an ability to purchase and distribute Vermont sourced food from socially disadvantaged producers to underserved community members across Vermont. 

Awards will range from $15,000 - $60,000 with no match requirement. Funds must be used to start new programs or expand existing offerings to purchase Vermont food and move to neighbors in need. Farmers and producers who fall under USDA’s definition of socially disadvantaged will receive priority for funding. Project duration will run from March of 2024 through March of 2025. 

Applications will open on October 30 and are due by Tuesday, December 12 at 2:00PM. 

Grant funds are to be used for food purchases only and are limited to Vermont raw or minimally processed foods per USDA definition. Additionally, at least 50% of LFPA Plus funds must be spent procuring foods from farmers that meet the USDA definition of socially disadvantaged. At least 50% of food products purchased with LFPA Plus funds must be distributed to communities that meet the USDA definition of an underserved community. This second and final round of LFPA is referred to as LFPA Plus because it is separately funded and has its own stipulations. This program is designed to establish markets for socially disadvantaged farmers, while feeding underserved Vermont communities. 

VAAFM administers this federal program in Vermont through a $1,017,953 cooperative agreement with the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service. VAAFM is pleased to administer the final round of funding from the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) this fall.  

   For questions about Vermont’s LFPA program or the LFPA Plus RFA, contact:  

Sarah McIlvennie | | 802-261-5866