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VAAFM Announces $200K New Local Food Purchase Assistance Grants to Nine Organizations

February 22, 2023
Local Food Harvesting

USDA Local Food Purchase Assistance connects local farmers to underserved communities  

February 22, 2023 | Montpelier, VTThe Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets (VAAFM) announces a second list of grant awards from a new competitive round of Local Food Purchase Assistance (LFPA) funding.  Approximately $200,000 will be awarded to nine organizations that have diverse projects to purchase from socially disadvantaged Vermont farmers and producers and distribute to underserved community members across the state. Projects will focus on increasing equity and cultivating new relationships between local growers and entities providing food to their neighbors. Projects will begin this spring and run for one year across 6 Vermont counties. 

Awards include: 

  • $50,000 to SUSU commUNITY Farm to launch an expanded free CSA program to provide locally grown, culturally relevant vegetables for BIPOC families and new refugees.  
  • $37,319 to Conscious Homestead, through fiscal agent Community Resilience Organizations, to expand their Community Care Share Program to distribute locally grown and produced food from BIPOC-operated enterprises to members of the Black and Brown communities. 
  • $25,500 to Healthy Roots Collaborative, a program of the Northwest Regional Planning Commission, to purchase and distribute local food to 20 Northwest Farmacy CSA recipients and 8 NOTCH Clinic mini-fridges.  
  • $22,279 to Addison County Relocalization Network to expand their “prescription CSA” share program by 3 weeks and 20 families. 
  • $19,700 to Community Food Project, through fiscal agent Retreat Farm, to provide 25 free CSA shares to families in need through their Farm Share and other food distribution efforts. 
  • $13,500 to Maquam Bay of Missisquoi to increase operational hours and purchase additional food for their Food Shelf.  
  • $10,800 to The People’s Farmstand, through fiscal agent Peace and Justice Center, to connect underserved community members with expanded local, organic, and culturally appropriate produce at a weekly farmstand. 
  • $10,288 to Vermont Farmer’s Food Center to expand their Farmacy’s geographic service area to increase food shares to rural Community Health Clinics. 
  • $9,850 to Orange Southwest Unified Union to increase fresh farm products in their ‘Food for Thought’ grocery bag distribution for families during school breaks. 

This funding is part of a larger LFPA program that is administered by USDA Agricultural Marketing Service and is part of the “Build Back Better” initiative authorized by the American Rescue Plan. VAAFM is administering the initial $500,000, two-year cooperative agreement awarded in July 2022, and foresees another award coming in 2023. 

VAAFM announced five projects that were awarded in the Fall of 2022 with initial LFPA funding. These organizations will also expand procurement relationships with local and underserved farmers and producers and distribute the food purchased to underserved communities. The projects are underway and will run for 18 months. They vary in size and scope but aim to increase access to local, culturally appropriate food products and support diverse farmers and food producers. 

For questions about Vermont’s LFPA program, contact: Julia Scheier | | 802-522-7042