On November 18, Governor John Carney, the Delaware Department of Agriculture, and the Delaware Council on Farm and Food Policy announced a $ 2 million investment in seed funding to establish the nation’s first integrated food system program.
The council will develop the new program to 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 the program is provided by the American Rescue Plan Act, which was enacted by President Joe Biden and championed by members of the Delaware congressional delegation, American senses 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 Delaware-produced foods while supporting Delaware farmers,” Carney said. “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, promoting overall economic growth here. in Delaware.
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 / consumer businesses: convenience stores, grocery stores / markets, restaurants, farmers markets, food trucks, food kiosks and mobile markets.
“This program prioritizes our food system and provides the state with the opportunity to make a strategic investment in how families access food in their communities while improving the resilience of the local food supply chain.” Said Michael T. Scuse, Delaware. Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture. “Neighboring states like Maryland and New Jersey have reaped the rewards 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 to improving local access to local food.
The Delaware Council on Farm and Food Policy provides insight into various aspects of Delaware’s food system, supply chain, and food security.
It strives to facilitate and support a food system where local farmers can access viable markets, all Delawaren can access the resources needed to promote the guarantee of nutritious local food options and vulnerabilities within communities can be. reduced.
“The council’s past efforts have laid the groundwork for coordination and strategy around planning for long-term resilience,” said Nikko Brady, executive committee member 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. ”
All ARPA funds related to this program will be released by December 2024. For more information, contact Nikko Brady at the Delaware Department of Agriculture by sending an email to [email protected]
To learn more about the American Rescue Plan’s help in Delaware, visit de.gov/recueplan.