Local Food Purchase Assistance Program (LFPA)

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is establishing the Local Food Purchase Assistance Cooperative Agreement Program. The LFPA program is authorized by the American Rescue Plan. The purpose of this program is to maintain and improve food and agricultural supply chain resiliency through non-competitive cooperative agreements with state and tribal governments to support local, regional, and socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers through the purchase of domestic local foods. The food will meet the needs of the population, and serve feeding programs, including food banks, schools and organizations that reach underserved communities. In addition to increasing local food consumption, funds will help build and expand economic opportunity for local and socially disadvantaged producers.[1]

The Local Food Purchase Assistance Program has three overarching goals:

  1. Provide an opportunity for States and Tribal Governments to strengthen their local and regional food system.
  2. Help to support local and socially disadvantaged farmers/producers through building and expanding economic opportunities.
  3. Establish, strengthen, and broaden partnerships with producers and the food distribution community, local food networks, and non-profits distributing fresh and nutritious foods in rural, remote, or underserved communities.[2]

The State of Illinois will apply for cooperative agreement funds through the Illinois Department of Agriculture in cooperation with the Illinois Department of Human Services. Per USDA AMS, the State of Illinois is eligible for $14.4 million.
Questions regarding the LFPA can be submitted to


FAQs (Updated 3/28/2022)

  1. How do I become a beneficiary of the LFPA?
    The Illinois Department of Agriculture will submit an application to USDA. Once a cooperative agreement is entered into between USDA and IDOA next steps for potential subrecipients will be posted on this website.

  2. How would pricing of LFPA eligible commodities be determined?
    The process is being discussed and will take into account the industry standards for purchasing in the best effort to be fair to every grower of all types of food.

  3. Is GAP certification required?
    Per USDA, suppliers that partner or subcontract with State agencies under this program are required to follow their state and local regulations regarding food safety.  

  4. If GAP certification is required, will the state provide resources to assist farmers who have not received certification?
    Per USDA, suppliers that partner or subcontract with State agencies under this program are required to follow their state and local regulations regarding food safety. Per USDA LFPA FAQ, Question 34, food safety certifications, training, seed, or crop insurance are examples of production costs. Costs associated with food production activities, or costs associated with general purpose development or training are unallowable.

  5. How will socially disadvantaged farmers be addressed? Will the State of Illinois contract directly with a group of farmers or a farmer?
    Information will be forthcoming regarding opportunities for socially disadvantaged farmers.

  6. How will the types of foods purchased be determined? Will the State include foods that support health, dietary, cultural and religious needs and preferences?
    Per USDA LFPA FAQ Question 37, funding can only be used to purchase food items, such as meat, poultry, fruit, vegetables, seafood, dairy and processed foods. The Illinois Department of Agriculture looks forward to reviewing the results of the survey and will take account the preferences of food pantry clients.
  7. What is the best way for farms and groups of farmers to get on the radar as producers from who food can be purchased?
    Information will be forthcoming regarding opportunities for socially disadvantaged farmers.

  8. How will partnering distributors be selected for food distribution to underserved communities?
    Information will be forthcoming regarding opportunities for partnering distributors, including food banks. Per USDA LFPA FAQ, Question 24, recipient State agencies and Tribal Governments will determine how best to distribute the food according to the needs of underserved communities in their states and Tribal regions. The goal of the program is to get the food to those that are underserved. This may include distribution through foodbanks to families directly, or through foodservice at institutions in underserved communities such as schools, early childcare centers, senior centers, etc.

  9. Will TEFAP providers be considered to help with sourcing and distribution of food? Do TEFAP providers need to apply to be considered?
    Per USDA LFPA FAQ, Questions 21 and 22 USDA AMS encourages partnerships with organizations that have experience in food distribution, including knowledge of food safety and handling, and capacity to store and manage food inventory. This includes organizations that are part of the normal food distribution network, including food bank network agencies. Cooperative agreement recipients may partner with organizations already engaged in food distribution to underserved communities, such as agencies that administer the TEFAP program.

  10. How much of the cooperative agreement will be spent on food purchases?
    Per the USDA Request for Application, the expectation of this program is for recipients to spend the pre-dominance of awarded funds on food purchases. Per USDA LFPA FAQ Question 18, AMS has not provided percentages of funding requirements.

  11.  How can food banks or food pantries participate?
    The LFPA grant allows for administrative funds to be allocated in the effort to inventory and distribute these foods as well as the inter-office costs involved in tracking and reporting required by the offering.  Although the amount of available funding for administrative costs have not yet been determined, industry standard will be used to keep every provider at the same reimbursement level.



Local Food Purchase Cooperative Agreement Program

Request for Application

USDA AMS Frequently Asked Questions

3/16/22 USDA Local Food Purchase Assistance Program - PowerPoint Presentation

3/16/22 Webinar