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US Agriculture Secretary announces program to help small CA farms

A new federal program aims to create more opportunities for small farmers in the pandemic-hit Sacramento Valley by helping them connect with food banks and in turn increase the quality of food on the dinner table. US Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack visited the Yolo County Food Bank on Wednesday to announce that California will receive $43.4 million for the United States Department of Agriculture’s local food purchasing program. He said farmers and families would benefit. “We’re here today to talk about a program designed to better connect USDA resources with food banks and government agencies, which in turn will allow them to better connect farmers who produce incredibly nutritious food and they connect produce from these farmers to local needs,” Vilsack said. Yolo Food Bank serves more than 12,000 food insecure families per month. While touring the food bank, Vilsack said the pandemic has hurt not only more families but also those small-scale farmers trying to make a living. “We know we have to build a more resilient food system in this country. We know we have to build more opportunities to address not only food insecurity, as important a challenge as that is, but also nutrition insecurity,” Vilsack said. “We grow such nutritious food, so lucky to have it and take it for granted. It’s right in our backyard,” said California Secretary of Agriculture Karen Ross. To Ross, the program makes sense given that urban farms lost income when restaurants and farmers markets closed during the pandemic. The USDA money will go to food banks and other community programs that buy farmers’ produce and distribute it to those in need. “There are a lot of bad things about COVID, but there are also new innovations and lessons being learned,” Ross said. “There is nothing better than being in a food distribution area and seeing the joy on the faces of consumers when there is fresh produce in the box.” the new federal local food purchasing program; “This program will allow fresh produce to come in and more,” said owner Hope Sippola. “And also local farms from many more areas, so it won’t travel too far and the quality will be better.” Davis’ farm sits on three acres and they just planted their winter crops. She knows her products will end up on the tables of families in need. And the timing of its planted crop will result in families getting fresh produce from storage crops that have been stored for months. The USDA money will help small farms like Sippola’s grow.”One of the things this funding will do is give farmers a fair price for their produce, which will encourage them to sell to the bank their food and help them get out there,” said Sippola. She also created the Spork Food Hub inside her barn. It allows those in need to come directly to her farm to get the fresh produce for free. As the name suggests of, there is hope to relieve California’s food insecurity with fresh produce grown by neighbors.” 23 states participate in the program. California received the largest amount of money in the $400 million program.

A new federal program aims to create more opportunities for small farmers in the pandemic-hit Sacramento Valley by helping them connect with food banks and in turn increasing the quality of food on the table.

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack visited the Yolo County Food Bank on Wednesday to announce that California will receive $43.4 million for the United States Department of Agriculture local food shopping program. He said farmers and families would benefit.

“We’re here today to talk about a program designed to better connect USDA resources with food banks and government agencies, which in turn will allow them to better connect farmers who produce incredibly nutritious food and they connect produce from these farmers to local needs,” Vilsack said.

The Yolo Food Bank serves more than 12,000 food insecure families per month. While touring the food bank, Vilsack said the pandemic has not only hurt more families but also those small-scale farmers trying to make a living.

“We know we need to build a more resilient food system in this country. We know we need to create more pathways to address not just food insecurity, as important a challenge as that is, but nutrition insecurity,” said Vilsack.

“We grow such nutritious food, so lucky to have it and take it for granted. It’s right in our backyard,” said California Secretary of Agriculture Karen Ross.

For Ross, the program makes sense considering urban farms lost income when restaurants and farmers markets closed during the pandemic.

USDA money will go to food banks and other community programs that buy farmers’ produce and distribute it to those in need.

“There are a lot of bad things about COVID, but there are also new innovations and lessons learned,” Ross said. “There is nothing better than being in a food distribution area and seeing the joy on the faces of consumers when there is fresh produce in the box.”

Fiery Ginger Farms in Davis and West Sacramento is one of the small-scale farms in California participating in the new federal local food purchase program.

“This program will allow fresh produce to come in and more,” said owner Hope Sippola. “And also local farms from a lot more areas, so it won’t travel too far and the quality will be better.”

Davis’ farm sits on three acres and they just planted their winter crops. She knows her products will end up on the tables of families in need. And the timing of her planted crop will result in families getting fresher produce than storage crops that have been stored for months.

USDA money will help small farms like Sippola’s grow.

“One of the things this funding will do is give farmers an appropriate price for their produce, which will encourage them to sell to their food bank and help get that food out there,” Sippola said.

He also created the Spork Food Hub in her hold. She allows those in need to come directly to her farm to get the fresh produce for free.

As its name suggests, there is hope to rid California of food insecurity with fresh produce grown by neighbors.

“This is one of the positive aspects of the pandemic, we saw the need and now we have taken action,” he said.

23 states participate in the program. California received the largest amount of money in the $400 million program.

US Agriculture Secretary announces program to help small CA farms Source link US Agriculture Secretary announces program to help small CA farms

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