ARCHS has been awarded a multi-year grant from the USDA to address on-going food desert concerns in St. Louis’ most under-resourced communities. During the first two years of the grant, more than $1.4 million in funding will provide fresh food and produce to more than 175,000 individuals.
During the first two months of the initiative, 11,050 boxes of food and produce weighing 276,250 pounds were distributed. The boxes served more than 44,200 people with a value of $276,250.
The initiative is a partnership between the USDA’s Local Food Purchase Agreement (LFPA), the Missouri Department of Social Services, Family and Community Trust, and ARCHS.
The program serves not-for-profits in St. Louis City, St. Louis County, St. Charles County, Lincoln County, and Warren County. ARCHS is utilizing the expertise of Ole Tyme Produce to secure the food and produce from local and regional farmers.
“ARCHS is partnering with its current portfolio of 40 funded agencies and additional community partners to strengthen existing food distribution networks, as well as create new ones,” said Wendell E. Kimbrough, ARCHS chief executive officer.
“USDA is excited to see such strong interest in local food and regional food systems from states, territories, tribal governments, and organizations throughout the country,” said USDA Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Jenny Lester Moffitt. “These programs leverage government procurement efforts to increase access to locally sourced, fresh, healthy, and nutritious food in underserved communities while building more and better markets, especially for underserved producers.”
“This cooperative agreement allows us to continue to support families facing financial hardships across the state by ensuring they have access to nutritious, locally produced food,” said Robert J. Knodell, Director of the Missouri Department of Social Services. “The Department of Social Services is excited to extend this opportunity to Missouri citizens as we carry out our mission to empower Missourians to live safe, healthy, and productive lives.”
Not-for-profit service agencies (not individuals) interested in participating in the initiative must complete an application form for consideration. Program on hold till Spring 2024.