Giselle Bruskewitz.(IVRCD photo)

A U.S.D.A. funded program aims to get local food to hungry people while securing good prices for local producers.

The Iowa Local Food Purchasing Assistance Program comes from the American Rescue Plan. For Iowans, it means $2.7 million  invested in the local food system.  Giselle Bruskewitz  is a program director for Iowa Valley Resource Conservation and Development, which is implementing the program.

“This is a start and we’re proving how this kind of investment can be impactful and the fact that we have the relationships and we have the infrastructure to make it work,” Bruskewitz says. “So this is hopefully just the start of an influx of funding to bridge that gap.”

Bruskewitz says the program is particularly focused on helping farmers from disadvantaged backgrounds and is working to solve key issues. “How do we get free food, high quality free food out to Iowans that need and want it, who are experiencing food insecurity or can’t get access?” Bruskewitz says. “And on the other hand, how do we get fair prices to our local producers in the state?”

Iowa Valley will to develop 17 distribution partners across the state. They range from food hubs and food banks to the Meskwaki Nation. As they court additional U.S.D.A. dollars, she hopes local growers get more attention as a solution to hunger.

(By Zachary Oren Smith, Iowa Public Radio)

Radio Iowa