The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) has announced $41.4 million in 23 competitive grants to support projects to increase the purchase of fruits and vegetables among low-income consumers participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) by providing incentives at the point of purchase. The funding comes from The Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program (GusNIP), reauthorized by the 2018 Farm Bill and renamed from the Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive Program (FINI).
GusNIP is a joint program between NIFA and the USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service, which oversees SNAP and is responsible for evaluating the impact of the variety of types of incentive programs being deployed by GusNIP grantees. These grantees represent a variety of peer-reviewed projects, including small pilot projects, regular projects, large-scale projects, produce prescription projects, and one training, technical assistance, evaluation, and information center project.
“One of the new components this year of the program created by the 2018 Farm Bill that we are excited about is the produce prescription projects,” said NIFA Director J. Scott Angle. “These projects present an opportunity to bring together stakeholders from distinct parts of the food and healthcare systems to foster a better understanding of how the health and nutrition status of participating households prescribed fresh fruits and vegetables is improved.”
Forsyth Farmers Market in Chatham County, Ga., received Produce Prescription Project funding that will allow them to partner with four area healthcare clinics to serve 200 participants and their families each year. In Frankfort, Ky., the Community Farm Alliance received a Produce Prescription Project grant that will allow them to merge their efforts with the Community Farmers Market to establish a regional, multi-location produce prescription program to positively impact the dietary health outcomes of expecting mothers and their infants, through increased access to fresh Kentucky-grown produce, while supporting Kentucky farmers.
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