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US EAT Local Foods Act

Policy Details

Policy Type: Policy
Jurisdiction: Federal
Status: Passed
Tags: Food Justice, JEDI, Public Health

Policy Summary

The EAT (Expanding Access To) Local Foods Act proposes the establishment of a permanent program aimed at sustaining and expanding the efforts of the United States Department of Agriculture’s Local Food Purchase Assistance (LFPA) Program. This initiative is designed to enhance regional food supply chains by empowering States and Tribal Nations through financial support. The program’s primary objectives include purchasing and distributing locally grown and produced foods to vulnerable communities across the country. Additionally, it seeks to provide specialized technical assistance to local growers, enabling them to scale up their production capacity effectively.

The core principles of the EAT Local Foods Act focus on bolstering local economies and improving food security by promoting the consumption of locally sourced foods. By supporting regional agriculture and food systems, the program aims to reduce dependence on large-scale food distribution networks and increase access to nutritious food options in underserved areas. Furthermore, it emphasizes sustainability practices within agriculture, encouraging environmentally friendly production methods that align with community health and well-being.

Key components of the proposed legislation include allocating federal funding to States and Tribal Nations, which would administer the program at the local level. This decentralized approach aims to tailor support to the specific needs and challenges faced by different regions and communities. By fostering partnerships between government entities, growers, and community organizations, the EAT Local Foods Act intends to create a robust infrastructure that supports both economic development and food resilience across the United States.

In summary, the EAT Local Foods Act represents a comprehensive federal effort to establish a permanent framework for promoting local food systems. By enhancing support for regional agriculture and providing targeted assistance to growers, the legislation aims to strengthen food security, stimulate local economies, and foster sustainable practices within the agricultural sector.


Does the policy solution re-distribute power from mainstream institutions to impacted Black community?   

The EAT Local Food Act can potentially redistribute power by empowering Black communities through increased access to local food systems. By supporting local farmers and food producers, especially those from marginalized communities including Black farmers, the policy aims to reduce dependence on mainstream food distribution systems dominated by large corporations. This shift can empower Black communities economically and socially by fostering self-sufficiency and resilience in local food production and distribution. Strengthening local economies can reduce poverty and improve financial security for Black families.

Does this policy address needs impacting diverse groups within Black communities (Black femmes, Black LGBTQ+ communities, Black immigrants, people in poverty, differently abled, people impacted by justice system)? If so, how?  

Yes, this policy has the potential to impact Black farmers, low-income Black households and Black households that live in food deserts.

Does this policy provide more decision-making power at the hands of Black communities?  

While the Act primarily supports local and regional decision-making through States and Tribal Nations, it indirectly provides more decision-making power at the local level, where Black communities can influence food policy, production practices, and distribution strategies. By participating in local food systems, Black communities can advocate for their specific needs and preferences, thus influencing decisions that impact their food security and economic well-being.

Does the policy undermine extractive economies like capitalism and restore community power around a local and regenerative economy/ primary production?  

The Act promotes a shift towards a local and regenerative economy by encouraging sustainable agricultural practices and supporting small-scale farmers and producers. This approach can undermine extractive economies associated with large-scale industrial agriculture and corporate food systems, which often exploit natural resources and labor. By investing in local food production, the Act supports community-based economic development and environmental stewardship, aligning with principles of sustainability and resilience. By investing in local food systems, the Act can stimulate economic development within Black communities. This includes opportunities for entrepreneurship, job creation, and income generation through food production, distribution, and related services.

Does the policy repair past harm and uphold civil and human rights, health and environmental protections? 

The Act empowers States and Tribal Nations to strengthen regional food supply chains, which can create economic opportunities for Black farmers and producers. Historically, Black farmers have faced systemic barriers and discrimination in agriculture. Supporting them through funding and technical assistance to scale up production can help address these disparities and enhance economic stability within Black communities. Local food systems often support diverse cultural food traditions and practices. For Black families, access to locally sourced foods can help preserve and celebrate culinary heritage. By promoting local food production that aligns with cultural preferences and dietary traditions, the Act supports cultural continuity and community identity.

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