- Up to $400 million has been made available to support food purchases with emphasis on purchasing from underserved farmers, ranchers
- Agency strengthens efforts to provide emergency food assistance, expand economic opportunity
- ACTX GrowPods could be valuable tool in effort to build resilient local, regional food-production capabilities
In an effort to provide transform the food system and build a better food system after the global pandemic exposed weaknesses in the system, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (“USDA”) established a Local Food Purchase Assistance Cooperative Agreement Program (“LFPA”) last year (https://cnw.fm/omE5D). Advanced Container Technologies (OTC: ACTX), a company focused on the business of developing, manufacturing and selling advanced cultivation equipment, proprietary packaging systems, and a variety of other products, is ideally suited to help meet the needs of the new USDA initiative to build a new and more equitable food system (https://cnw.fm/gZf00).
According to the USDA announcement, up to $400 million in funding has been made available to support food purchases with an emphasis on purchasing from underserved farmers and ranchers. “Also as part of the Build Back Better Food System Transformation Initiative, USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service is announcing the availability of up to $50 million in funds provided by the American Rescue Plan for the Emergency Food Assistance Program (“TEFAP”) Reach and Resiliency grants to state agencies to expand program access in rural, tribal, and other currently underserved areas,” the agency states. “These grants and the LFPA are both part of USDA’s robust and ongoing support for food banks and the broader emergency food system.”
“One of the lessons from COVID-19 is that the current food system is too rigid, consolidated and fragile,” the agency stated when it announced established the program. “These cooperative agreements will help state, tribal and local entities purchase food more efficiently from local producers and invest in infrastructure that enables partner organizations to reach underserved communities more effectively.
“As we build back better than we were before, we will strengthen our efforts to provide emergency food assistance and expand economic opportunity for historically underserved producers by allowing state and tribal governments to buy and distribute local and regional foods and beverages that are healthy, nutritious and unique to their geographic area.”
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack noted that the program “will help get local and regional agricultural products into schools, food banks and other nutritional assistance programs, and organizations that reach underserved communities. It also advances our efforts to ensure that historically underserved populations gain equal access to USDA resources through a combination of grants, loans, pilot programs, technical assistance, cooperative agreements, and more.”
According to Advanced Container Technologies, its GrowPods — modular hydroponic greenhouses — could become a valuable tool in this effort to build more resilient local and regional food production capabilities. “With GrowPods, cultivation can be moved directly into the areas where food is needed,” the company noted. “Additionally, locating the pods nearer to the point of consumption allows food to be harvested at its peak nutritional value, and greatly reduces the carbon and environmental impact of the nation’s current food chain, which relies on trucks carrying mass quantities of produce across the country.”
GrowPods offer a controlled environment with major advantages for the production of high-value crops. The ability to grow crops year-round while cultivating in a smaller footprint using less resources make the systems particularly well suited for programs such as the LFPA. ACTX is the exclusive distributor of GrowPods in certain markets. The company also provides a variety of other products and services, including packaging solutions for medicinal, pharmaceutical, and agricultural products.
For more information, visit the company’s website at www.AdvancedContainerTechnologies.com.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to ACTX are available in the company’s newsroom at https://cnw.fm/ACTX
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