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Upper Michigan to receive federal funds to strengthen local food economies

This investment comes through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s new Regional Food Systems Partnerships Program.
U.S. Department of Agriculture
U.S. Department of Agriculture(WRDW)
Published: Oct. 7, 2020 at 12:04 PM EDT
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WASHINGTON (WLUC) - U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Ranking Member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, Wednesday announced a new $746,480 investment to help build local food economies, create jobs, and improve access to locally grown food in urban and rural communities in Southwest Michigan and the Upper Peninsula.

This investment comes through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s new Regional Food Systems Partnerships Program, which Senator Stabenow authored in the 2018 Farm Bill.

“When we produce food here, we create jobs here in Michigan,” said Senator Stabenow. “This is a win-win for families and local food producers who have been hit hard by the COVID-19 crisis.”

From restaurant closures, to supply chain disruptions, the COVID-19 pandemic has affected local food economies. Michigan State University will receive $746,480 to strengthen local food systems by connecting food and farm entrepreneurs in Southwest Michigan and the Upper Peninsula.

The project will create lasting partnerships between farmers and innovative food businesses to help create jobs and improve access to locally grown food in both rural and urban communities.

“This award from USDA will allow us to create a more cohesive collaboration infrastructure to better support urban and rural communities of need in Michigan. We will expand the reach of the Michigan Good Food Fund to assist local food and farm entrepreneurs who bring healthy and affordable foods into Battle Creek and the Upper Peninsula” said Jamie Rahrig project lead with the MSU Center for Regional Food System and the MSU Product Center.

In the 2018 Farm Bill, Sen. Stabenow authored the new Regional Food Systems Partnerships Program, which builds regional partnerships between farmers and food entrepreneurs to grow local food economies. Sen. Stabenow secured permanent funding for these partnerships by including them as a part of the Local Agriculture Market Program, ensuring these investments will be available for food and farm entrepreneurs for years to come.

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