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Gipson announces new initiative to purchase food from local farmers

local farmers
Photo courtesy of the Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce

Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce Andy Gipson has announced a new local food initiative between Mississippi farmers and food banks at the Mississippi Food Network in Jackson.

The Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce (MDAC) was awarded $2.82 million through a Local Food Purchase Assistance Cooperative Agreement with the United States Department of Agriculture. Through this initiative, food will be acquired from local farmers and food producers, including socially disadvantaged farmers and processors, then distributed to underserved communities throughout the state.

MDAC is partnering with the Mississippi Food Network, Feeding the Gulf Coast, and Mid-South Food Bank — three Feeding America affiliated food banks — to procure and distribute the local food through their networks of existing and new agency partners.

“MDAC is proud to partner with the three Feeding America affiliated food banks in our great state – Mississippi Food Network, Feeding the Gulf Coast, and Mid-South Food Bank,” Gipson said. “This unique partnership allows us to support our local Mississippi farmers and food producers, while benefitting people in need throughout underserved communities in Mississippi. This initiative is just the beginning of a long-term partnership that will last well beyond this initial round of funding as it will continue to grow and expand marketing opportunities for producers statewide. I encourage our Mississippi farmers and food producers interested in potentially marketing products through this program to go online and register to be included in the local food source directory.”

Farmers and other food producers and processors that are interested in marketing their products through this program can click here to register their farm or business in the directory. MDAC is developing a directory of local farmers and food processors for the food banks to utilize to find local Mississippi food products.

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