The Agriculture Dept. distributes $16.8 million in competitive grants to help Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, the old Food Stamp program) participants increase their purchases of fruits and vegetables.
The funding comes from the Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive (FINI) program, authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill and administered by USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA).
“USDA is committed to providing low income families with the resources they need to consume more nutritious food. Last year, SNAP kept at least 4.7 million Americans — including 2.1 million children — out of poverty,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “Programs like FINI build on the success we’ve seen with the use of healthy incentives and with many of the projects being run at farmers markets, we’re also helping to strengthen local and regional food systems.”
FINI is a joint program between NIFA and USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service, which oversees SNAP. The awards under FINI represent a variety of projects, including relatively small pilot projects, multi-year community-based projects, and larger-scale multi-year projects.
Fiscal year 2016 awards include: Youth Policy Institute, Los Angeles, Calif., $499,923; Pinnacle Prevention Corp., Gilbert, Ariz., $400,000; Interfaith Sustainable Food Collaborative, Oakland, Calif., $155,200; San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association, San Francisco, Calif., $308,131; LiveWell Colorado, Denver, Colo., $497,806; Wholesome Wave, Bridgeport, Conn., $499,720; Experimental Station, Chicago, Ill., $313,499; Community Food & Agriculture Coalition Inc., Missoula, Mont., $94,312; Harvest Home Farmer’s Market, New York, N.Y., $499,992; Field & Fork Network Inc., Williamsville, N.Y., $393,813; Community Service Council of Greater Tulsa, Inc., Tulsa, Okla., $481,191;
The grants support creative community partnerships that also benefit regional food producers and local economies along with SNAP participants. Previous grantees include the Mass. Department of Transitional Assistance for a multiyear program providing a dollar-for-dollar match for each SNAP dollar spent on targeted fruits and vegetables purchased at Farmers’ Markets.