The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) will establish cooperative agreements with state and Tribal governments for the purpose of supporting local, regional, and socially disadvantaged farmers/producers through food purchasing under the “Build Back Better Initiative.” State and Tribal governments
will purchase food from local and regional farmers/producers, targeting socially disadvantaged farmers/producers.
These cooperative agreements will allow for entities to procure local, domestic foods that are unique to their geographic area and meet the needs of the populations.
In addition to increasing local food consumption, funds are expected to help build and expand economic opportunity for local and socially disadvantaged farmers/producers.
USDA will provide the state or Tribal government funding for food purchases as well as guidance, technical assistance, instruction, and monitoring throughout the life cycle of the cooperative agreement.
Initial agreements will be distributed incrementally to ensure all interested applicants have an opportunity for an award.
Initial awards will be to State Governments and Tribal Governments.
Depending on demand, additional agreements may be made available for local governments.
The expectation of this program is for recipients to spend the pre-dominance of awarded funds on food purchases.
Food purchases can include both fresh and processed foods.
Applicants may also request direct and indirect costs associated with developing and administering the program in accordance with 2 CFR § 20 0. 41 4. All food purchased must meet the definition of domestically produced as well as the definition of local as defined in section 1. 2. 1. The period of performance for the Cooperative Agreements will be two years from the time of award.
State agencies and Tribal governments should determine funding amounts based on their local food purchase availability and the needs of underserved communities.
Funds may also be used to cover the activities associated with program development, administration, food storage and food distribution.
States and Tribal governments will submit proposals indicating how they will use the funds to purchase commodities to meet the specified objectives within their state or region.
These funds will be awarded through a non-competitive process based on the statutory The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) funding formula.
This formula considers the poverty rate and unemployment levels in each state to ensure the distribution of funds corresponds to feeding needs in each state.
Cooperative Agreement applications will be awarded based on acceptability and ability to meet the goals of the program.