The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) is seeking comments on its draft application to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Local Food Purchase Assistance (LFPA) Program through a Request for Information (RFI). The goal of the LFPA program is to purchase food from Socially Disadvantaged producers* and distribute this food to underserved communities throughout the state.
This RFI and draft application can be accessed on the MDA website. Public comments to the RFI can be submitted through an online survey. Responses will be accepted through April 18, 2022.
The draft application was prepared following two virtual public input sessions held in March, two open meetings with the MDA Emerging Farmers’ Working Group, and conversations with staff from the Minnesota Departments of Health, Education, and Human Services. Comments shared on the draft will inform the final application submitted to the USDA.
*USDA definition of Socially Disadvantaged producers: Socially Disadvantaged Farmer or Rancher is a farmer or rancher who is a member of a Socially Disadvantaged Group. A Socially Disadvantaged Group is a group whose members have been subject to discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, and, where applicable, sex, marital status, familial status, parental status, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, political beliefs, reprisal, or because all or a part of an individual's income is derived from any public assistance program.
Allen Sommerfeld, MDA Communications