Agriculture Funds Help Address Food InsecurityApril 26, 2023
At the recent annual Connecticut Ag Day event at the State Capitol, House Democratic State Representative Jaime Foster (D-Ellington) helped announce that since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, nearly $5 million in funds has been distributed in collaboration with the Connecticut Department of Agriculture to support emergency feeding programs and address food insecurity.
This was done through the procurement of Connecticut Grown foods, and other support programming to help residents have equitable access to locally grown foods.
During this period, over $2.2 million from the federal American Rescue Plan Act has been distributed to established programs such as the Farmers Market Nutrition Program for WIC and senior participants, SNAP, and Full Shelves from EndHungerCT!. Funds were also used to launch the Connecticut Grown 4 Connecticut Kids Grant program, increasing the availability of local foods in child nutrition programs, farm-to-school connections, and sustain relationships with local farmers.
An additional $2.7 million in funds through the USDA Local Food Purchase Assistance Cooperative Agreement Program (LFPA) was disbursed to eight entities. Among these is Connecticut Foodshare for the purchase of Connecticut Grown food directly from Connecticut farmers, including small and socially underserved producers, to promote the wider distribution of fresh, local farm products.
Equitable access to locally grown foods will continue to be bolstered through an additional $3.5 million in funding through LFPA and a more user-friendly Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program scheduled to roll out in July 2023 just in time for the summer farmers’ market season.
“As a representative and nutrition expert, the updated Farmers Market Nutrition Program coming this summer is welcome news,” Rep. Foster said. “We look forward to the roll out. This program is good for farmers, food security, and the health of Connecticut families participating in the program.”
For more information on Connecticut Grown products, visit ctgrown.org.