St. Louis Area Foodbank Receives Landmark USDA Grants for Programs in Illinois


USDA Names St. Louis Area Foodbank as Local Food
Purchase Assistance Cooperative Agreement (LFPA) Lead Agency
Funding to provide free, locally produced food to Illinois Neighbors

[ST. LOUIS] – [March 6, 2024] – In a landmark move to address food insecurity in Illinois, St. Louis Area Foodbank is pleased to announce that it has been awarded three different grant allocations as part of the Local Food Purchase Assistance Cooperative Agreement (LFPA.)

Named one of 15 providers in Illinois working in partnership with the Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA) and the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) funds from this initiative will support both neighbors and local farmers by purchasing food from socially disadvantaged farmers for distribution to underserved communities at no cost.

The United States Department of Agriculture established the Local Food Purchasing Assistance program to strengthen statewide food systems over two years. Illinois is committed to sourcing 100% of products from socially disadvantaged farmers and encouraging the distribution of culturally responsive foods. The primary goals of LFPA are:

• To support local and socially disadvantaged farmers by building and expanding their economic opportunities to get their products to markets.
• Establish and broaden partnerships with farmers and the food distribution community to ensure distribution of fresh and nutritious foods to underserved communities.

In a time of continued and growing need, we are deeply honored and grateful to Governor JB Pritzker, the United States Department of Agriculture and Illinois Eats program for the opportunity to provide underserved families in Illinois with access to the fresh nutritious meals they rightfully deserve,” said Meredith Knopp, President and CEO of the St. Louis Area Foodbank. “This award addresses the factors of food insecurity full circle, amplifying our impact, feeding more neighbors, and implementing strategic initiatives that address challenges presented to socially disadvantaged farmers.

Communities cannot thrive when our neighbors are hungry. The economy cannot thrive when our farmers feel undervalued. The Illinois Eats Program allows us to both address food insecurity and uplift the hard work of our agriculture professionals,” said Lt. Governor Juliana Stratton. “Connecting people with the resources they need the most is exactly what I mean when I say ‘Ag Connects Us All.‘”

About the St. Louis Area Foodbank:
The St. Louis Area Foodbank began its service to the community in 1975. Through a robust network of community partners and programs throughout 26 counties in Missouri and Illinois, the Foodbank helps provide access to food to individuals facing hunger. Over 500,000 people in the bi-state region rely on the Foodbank for assistance each year. For nearly 50 years, the St. Louis Area Foodbank has been there for people dealing with crisis, be it a natural disaster, a global pandemic, or the everyday crisis of hunger. For more information about the work of the St. Louis Area Foodbank’s or for resources for those in need, call (314) 292-6262 or visit Find us on all social media platforms @stlfoodbank.


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