Last month, The Greater Boston Food Bank (GBFB) received the first shipment of ahi tuna from Boston Sword and Tuna through the Local Food Purchasing Agreement (LFPA).
In October 2022, GBFB received its first- LFPA grant, a new USDA grant program administered by the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR), for the purchase of local seafood. Seafood, a nutritionally dense source of protein, is a frequently requested item from our partner agencies. GBFB is grateful to be able to procure salmon tails, tilapia, tuna steaks, flounder fillets, as well as heat-and-eat haddock chowder and Provencal stew from nearby fisheries, advancing our mission to end hunger in Eastern Massachusetts while supporting the local economy.
Part of the “Build Back Better” initiative, the LFPA is a USDA program that seeks to maintain and improve food and agricultural supply chain resiliency through the purchase of food from local producers for distribution to underserved communities. Food purchased through the agreement is intended to meet the needs of the population and serve feeding programs, including food banks, schools and organizations that reach underserved communities. In addition to increasing local food consumption, funds will help build and expand economic opportunity for local and socially disadvantaged producers who may not traditionally qualify as a USDA vendor.
Through the LFPA, GBFB purchases seafood from Boston Sword & Tuna, Eastern Fisheries, and Cape Cod Commercial Fisherman’s Alliance (read more about their Small Boats, Big Taste Program).
In the coming months, product from these vendors will reach communities across Eastern Massachusetts during a time when consumers continue to feel the impact of rapid inflation, especially the rise in prices at the grocery store, which has caused many more families to seek help from their local food pantry.
Purchasing through the LFPA is not GBFB’s first experience sourcing products from the sea. GBFB has historically sourced frozen seafood product, and, as a result of expanded partnership with MDAR and increased funding during the pandemic, GBFB distributed locally-produced chowders to neighbors across Eastern Massachusetts.
GBFB was one of 16 recipients of the LFPA grant in Massachusetts in 2022. Learn more about the other recipients and projects.