November 18, 2021
$ 2 million in seed funding to stabilize and strengthen family farms and local food supply chain operations
WILMINGTON, Del. –Governor John Carney, the Delaware Department of Agriculture and the Delaware Council on Farm and Food Policy on Thursday announced an investment of $ 2 million in seed funding to establish the country’s first integrated food system program State. This new program, which will be developed by the Delaware Council on Farm and Food Policy, will help stabilize and strengthen Delaware’s small and medium-sized farmers and local food supply chain operations, among the sectors hardest hit during the pandemic.
Funding for this program is provided by the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), which was enacted by President Joe Biden and championed by members of the Delaware congressional delegation – US Senators Tom Carper and Chris Coons, and Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester.
“The state’s first integrated food system will provide a coordinated approach to improve local access to affordable and nutritious foods produced in Delaware while supporting Delaware farmers, ”said Governor Carney. “We know the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted small food businesses and Delaware families’ access to food. This is why the Council on Farm and Food Policy will work with partners to develop and administer a diverse portfolio of grants and loans to improve the availability and accessibility of local produce, animal protein, value-added products. and other foods, thereby promoting overall economic growth. here in Delaware.
“The rise of food insecurity in Delaware is just one example of how the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated existing problems in our communities,” said The Delaware Congressional Delegation of US Senators Tom Carper, Chris Coons and Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester. “This new program will be made possible by federal funds from the American Rescue Plan Act, which we passed in March of this year, and will provide resources and support to farmers, suppliers and distributors in Delaware. We applaud Governor Carney’s decision to prioritize the availability and accessibility of foods grown in Delaware through the creation of this innovative program. We look forward to working with our colleagues on both sides of the aisle to continue to fight for help for Delaware’s farms and supply chain operations. “
The First State Integrated Food System program focuses on three main channels of the food supply chain, including:
- Production: small and medium farmers;
- Processing and distribution: commercial kitchens, processing facilities, storage / hub facilities, incubators;
- Retail / Consumption Outlets: Convenience Stores, Grocery Stores / Markets, Restaurants, Farmers Markets, Food Trucks, Food Kiosks, and Mobile Markets.
“This program prioritizes our food system and offers the state the opportunity to make a strategic investment in how families access food in their communities and at the same time improve the resilience of the food chain. ‘local food supply,’ said Agriculture Secretary Michael T. Scuse. “Neighboring states like Maryland and New Jersey have reaped the benefits of food funding programs. The First State Integrated Food System Program will provide similar opportunities to build capacity in Delaware. These efforts will go a long way in improving local access to local food.
The Council provides insight into various aspects of Delaware’s food system, supply chain and food security. The Council works to facilitate and support a food system where:
- Local farmers can access viable markets;
- All Delawaren can access the resources necessary to circumvent the challenges associated with ensuring nutritious and local food options; and
- Where vulnerabilities within our communities can be reduced.
“The Council’s past efforts have laid the foundation for coordination and strategy around planning for long-term resilience,” said Nikko brady, Member of the Executive Committee of the Delaware Council on Farm and Food Policy. “The development of the First State Integrated Food System Program is yet another way for us to help connect Delaware farmers with processors and retail outlets to put food on Delaware tables. “
Each board member draws on their day-to-day experiences in their respective organizations and brings their knowledge and expertise to conversations about food access, food policy and nutrition in Delaware. The main function of the Council is to provide knowledge, information and strategy around food that helps coordinate and improve the capacities of state agencies, officials, community members and organizations.
All ARPA funds related to this program will be distributed by December 2024. For more information on the Delaware Council on Farm and Food Policy [gcc02.safelinks.protection.outlook.com] or the First State Integrated Food Safety Program, contact Nikko Brady at the Delaware Department of Agriculture, [email protected]