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New Program Invests In Agriculture, Supply Chains And Nutrition In W.Va.

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A new federally funded program will help West Virginia farmers distribute food to underserved communities and strengthen state supply chains.

It’s called the Local Food Purchase Assistance Cooperative Agreement Program (LFPA) and is part of the American Rescue Plan. The idea is to help small farmers compete, strengthen food bank relationships, and bring more nutritious foods to the state’s rural residents.

The money from the US Department of Agriculture will be distributed by the West Virginia Department of Agriculture to food banks in the state.

Facing Hunger Food Bank and Mountaineer Food Bank will purchase food from five producers that are considered “socially disadvantaged” in the first year. The food will then be distributed to underserved communities.

Officials said in a press release that they plan to expand the program over the next couple of years to purchase from 40 producers, and expects to serve at least 111,000 West Virginians in need.

A portion of these funds will be used for program development, administration, food storage and distribution.

The funds will supplement existing federal food programs in West Virginia and reach communities that are not currently served.

Southern W.Va. Bureau Chief, Reporter/Producer, jlilly@wvpublic.org, 304-384-5981, @JessicaYLilly

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