Keystone Leads in Local Food Procurement with LFPA Grant

Keystone Blog Image

In the heart of the Midway neighborhood in St. Paul, Minnesota, Keystone Community Services stands as a beacon of community support. Their recent achievement as one of our top wholesale customers in Q1 of 2024 is not just a testament to their dedication to local food procurement, translating to nearly $9,000 invested in small Minnesota farmers and producers, but also to the transformative impact of the Local Food Purchasing Assistance (LFPA) grant program administered by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture.

Warehouse Supervisor Nick Hedman leads the local sourcing charge at Keystone’s Community Food Center. With the aid of the LFPA grant, Nick has been able to procure a diverse range of local products through our food hub such as beets, cabbage, tofu, purple daikon radish, watermelon radish, and a variety of mushrooms all grown and produced right here in Minnesota.

TGA Crops at Keystone


LFPA grant recipients must adhere to pretty strict sourcing guidelines, including sourcing a minimum of 70% of their food from within Minnesota’s geographic boundaries with a strong emphasis on supporting socially disadvantaged and emerging farmers to create a more inclusive and equitable economic impact. LFPA grants also prioritize applicants who actively distribute food to underserved communities, aiming to reach at least 75% of these communities at no cost. By doing so, LFPA dollars are helping to address food insecurity and promote fair access to nutritious food options for all.

In addition to our LFPA partnership with Keystone, we’ve also expanded our reach to support LFPA recipients like the CLUES Canasta Familiar program in Austin, MN. This initiative addressed a critical need among Latinx workers at Hormel, providing them with access to fresh, local food options.

Keystone LFPA delivery

After making our first LFPA-funded delivery in January, Food Hub Operations Specialist, Hana Tanberg shared in our office chat where we often share Mission Moments with our team, “I just delivered a large order of cabbage, beets, tofu, and mushrooms to the new distribution building for Keystone Community Services. Farmers getting paid full price and consumers getting this much-needed food for free!” Hana’s Mission Moment underscores the transformative power of LFPA grants in empowering communities and fostering a resilient, sustainable food system.

Looking ahead, TGA anticipates expanding its network of LFPA partners in 2024, with new rounds of funding on the horizon. By forging direct partnerships with food shelves, TGA ensures that resources are efficiently allocated to meet the needs of communities. This strategic approach is evident in our efforts to diversify packaging options and provide transparent information regarding product quantities, catering to the specific needs of hunger relief organizations.

Keystone Community Services is a shining example of how strategic partnerships, fueled by LFPA grants, can catalyze positive change within communities. By prioritizing local procurement, equity, and accessibility, Keystone exemplifies the spirit of community-driven action, ensuring that everyone has a seat at the table when it comes to accessing nutritious, locally sourced food.

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture is now accepting applications for a second round of the Minnesota Local Food Purchase Assistance (LFPA) Program. Click here to learn more and apply before May 20th, 2024.

Like the article? Feel free to share!

Scroll to Top