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Statement on USDA emergency food assistance

New investment will bolster hunger relief efforts as food prices remain high

The Greater Chicago Food Depository applauds the US Department of Agriculture’s commitment of $1.5 billion in additional funding for emergency food assistance. This announcement is welcome news for the Food Depository, our local partners and food banks throughout Feeding America’s national network as we strive to keep up with elevated demand amid inflation and rising food costs.

According to today’s announcement, nearly $1 billion of this investment will be for USDA food purchases to be distributed by emergency food providers, including food banks and our local partner networks. Another $500 million will support local food procurement through the Local Food Purchase Assistance Cooperative Agreement Program (LFPA).

These investments come at a critical time for food banks, our partners and the people we serve. Food insecurity remains above pre-COVID levels as households cope with the effects of inflation and rising food prices. At the same time, food banks have faced significant challenges in food sourcing throughout 2022 due to elevated costs, supply chain disruptions, and the discontinuation of temporary pandemic food programs that expired last year. The Food Depository has doubled its food expenditures over the last year to maintain our local response to hunger.

The Food Depository is excited by the inclusion of $500 million for local food procurement through LFPA. This will give food banks and hunger relief organizations the opportunity to support local and regional food systems, including socially disadvantaged farmers that are often excluded from government procurement. LFPA aligns with the Food Depository’s purchasing strategies aimed at supporting job creation and economic opportunity among BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) food producers and in historically disinvested communities.

Today’s USDA announcement is a victory for anti-hunger advocates nationwide, including Feeding America member food banks and our local partner networks, who have been advocating for additional action from the federal government as our nation’s food insecurity crisis continues.

We look forward to working with our local partners to provide more nutritious food to protect our neighbors from food insecurity and hunger.

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