Special to the Vanguard
Woodland, CA – The Yolo Food Bank is receiving a $170,000 grant under the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Local Food Purchase Assistance Cooperative Agreement Program (LFPA), which it will use to create new purchasing agreements with diverse local farmers.
“The USDA funds, will enable us to expand partnerships with local farmers, and ensure broader and more consistent access to nutritious and culturally appropriate food for the vulnerable populations we serve,” said Yolo Food Bank Interim Executive Director Karen Baker.
During a tour and press conference at Yolo Food Bank on July 27, United States Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced the signing of a cooperative agreement between the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the State of California under the LFPA, designed to bolster local food and agricultural supply chain resiliency. The Yolo Food Bank grant is part of that program.
Yolo Food Bank currently partners with dozens of large and small farmers countywide, who donate and sell fresh produce for distribution by the food bank. The new funding will be used by Yolo Food Bank to explore potential expanded partnerships with organizations such as Three Sisters Garden, an indigenous-led farm located in West Sacramento’s Broderick neighborhood.
“We grow food for the people, by the people — right where we live. We look forward to working with Yolo Food Bank on a strategy for making needed additional investments in underserved communities and supporting disadvantaged producers such as Native/Indigenous farmers and farmers of color,” said Three Sisters Garden Founder and Operator Alfred Melbourne.
“Broadening our outreach to diverse local farmers creates a more resilient local food economy and also supports our Flipping the Food System initiative, which is designed to ensure that the food we distribute is accessible, nutritious, and culturally appropriate for all residents, including food-system and farmworker families” said Yolo Food Bank’s Baker.
A Flipping the Food System distribution pilot program for farmworker families is being launched on Saturday, July 30, at Durst Organic Growers in Esparto, CA. Both Muller Ag and River Garden Farms will be future hosts of additional food distribution events in August and September. This effort will result in over 350 farmworker families receiving nutritious and culturally appropriate food.
Yolo Food Bank is the lead organization in fighting food insecurity in Yolo County. As a Feeding America partner, it coordinates the recovery, collection, and storage of more than 11 million pounds of food annually from grocers and retailers, farmers, processors, and distributors. Through collaborations with the private sector, governmental agencies and nonprofit organizations, the food is provided to those in need through monthly distributions, local food pantries, senior meal delivery programs, migrant centers, college campuses, and healthcare facilities.