Iowa Local Food Purchasing Assistance Program surpasses $1M mark

Iowa Local Food Purchasing Assistance Program surpasses $1M mark.
Published: Sep. 12, 2023 at 10:19 PM CDT
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DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) - The Iowa Local Food Purchase Assistance Cooperative Agreement Program was launched in September 2022 and organizers say its achieved early success in purchasing high-quality food from local farmers and producers at a fair price and distributing it to under deserved communities throughout the state of Iowa.

Funding for the Iowa LEPA is made possible by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service through the American Rescue Plan and USDA Commodity Credit Corporation, which was awarded to the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, according to a media release from ILFPA. The program is being managed in partnership with Iowa Valley Resource Conservation and Development.

In the initial award, Iowa received $2.7 million in funding, this past spring the program funding was increased to total $5.67 million over three years to continue building on the initial successes of the first year, according to ILFPA.

This August, the program surpassed $1 million in food value sourced, distributed, and received through the program throughout the state of Iowa, one in Davenport, Riverbend Food Bank.

“Riverbend has been able to utilize food funding through the ILFPA to purchase food that has been produced by tapestry farms farmers, who are immigrants and refugees,” said Giselle Bruskewitz, Senior Program Director and Kaci Ginn, Operations Director at Iowa Valley Resource Conservation & Development. “That has allowed them to donate that food free of charge to the end-user, around the Quad Cities.”

In the Quad Cities area, there are nine producers registered to sell into the program.