The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced it was granting up to $12 million in funding to help increase access to locally grown food in communities facing food insecurity and discover new market opportunities for U.S. agricultural products.

The program focuses on areas of the U.S. that have significant levels of food insecurity and import a significant quantity of foods.

According to USDA Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Jenny Lester Moffitt, the funding initiative was created to benefit smaller farms, underserved producers and vulnerable communities.

The funding is available through three grant programs offered through the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS): the Federal State Marketing Improvement Program, the Micro-Grants for Food Security Program and the Acer Access and Development Program

“Each of these grant programs focus on a different area of the food system, but all work to support USDA’s goals to create new market opportunities that bring equity and financial stability to small farms and that rural and historically underserved communities have access to fresh, locally grown foods,” stated Moffitt.

“The projects funded through these programs will improve the nation’s food system by developing new products, supporting small-scale producers and improving healthy food access in food insecure communities.”

The Federal State Marketing Improvement Program has up to $1 million available to support market opportunities for U.S. food and agricultural products while promoting research. The Micro-Grants for Food Security Program has up to $5 million available to grow the quantity and quality of locally grown food in food-insecure areas by supporting small-scale gardening, herding and livestock operations.

Through the Acer Access and Development Program, up to $6 million is available for initiatives aimed at raising consumer awareness of the maple syrup industry and providing crucial resources to maple syrup producers.

Potential applicants are encouraged to review the Request for Applications available on the programs’ websites and submit their proposals through

While I don’t live in a food insecure area, I think this grant program is a great way to both strengthen access to locally grown food in the U.S. and support small farmers that may not have a large market to produce for.

Additionally, while I have interest in what happens with the grants that could affect poultry producers, I am intrigued about the maple syrup industry. According to the University of Vermont, climate change is significantly impacting maple syrup producers in 2024.

I’ll be interested to see how the grants are distributed and how they impact communities that need it. Personally, I buy both poultry products and maple syrup regularly.



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