Del. Uses ARPA Funds For Agricultural “Seed” Program

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Delaware looks to invest into small and mid-sized farms in The First State and support the local food supply chain.

The state plans to utilize $2-million in American Rescue Plan Act Funding for a seed program to be developed by the Delaware Council on Farm and Food Policy. A portfolio of grants and loans will become available to improve availability and accessibility of local produce, animal protein, value-added products and other foods.

The First State Integrated Food System will provide a coordinated approach to improving local access to affordable and nutritious, Delaware-produced foods while supporting Delaware farmers,” Governor John Carney said. “We know the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted small-scale food businesses and Delaware families’ access to food. That’s 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 production involving small- and mid-size farmers, processing and distribution involving commercial kitchens, processing facilities, storage / hub facilities and incubators, and retail / consumer outlets including convenience stories, groceries, markets, restaurants, farmers’ markets, food trucks, kiosks and mobile markets.

“This program prioritizes our food system and provides an opportunity for the State to make a strategic investment in how families access food in their communities and at the same time improve the resilience of the local food supply chain,” Delaware Secretary of Agriculture Michael Scuse said. “Neighboring states, like Maryland and New Jersey, have reaped the benefits of food financing programs. The First State Integrated Food System Program will make similar opportunities available to bolster Delaware’s capacity. These efforts will go a long way in improving local access to local food.”

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