USDA Funding for Regional Food Centers
Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the availability of $400 million to provide essential local and regional food systems coordination through new Regional Food Business Centers.
Vilsack… “There are many, many programs. In fact, there are 50 programs at USDA designed to help local and regional food systems. But you know, it's very difficult for people to understand how to access those programs or even to know about them. And as we thought about it, it became clear to us that we needed to do a better job of creating a mechanism by which people could more easily access information about programs and get the kind of technical assistance and resources that would allow them to fully-access those programs. So today, we're publishing a Request for Applications, an RFA, announcing the availability of $400 million from the American Rescue Plan resources to fund, up to five years, at least six new regional food centers.”
The centers, designed to promote local and regional food systems, will be located in key strategic areas.
Vilsack… “We're designating and dedicating at least four of these six regional centers to be located in the following areas and to service the following areas. We will have one of these centers be dedicated to Indian country, a National Tribal center that will work with tribes across the country that are very active in this local and regional food space. The Colonias, the Delta and the Southeast parts of the country, and in Appalachia. We know that there are demands and needs for local and regional food systems that can service the economic and entrepreneurial opportunities that will exist in those areas. And it will allow us to also work very closely with our food and nutrition security programs to make sure that we are addressing the needs of those four areas.”
Applications due November 22nd at www.grants.gov.