USDA NIFA invests $40 million to improve food health and reduce food insecurity

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KANSAS CITY, Missouri, June 1, 2022 – The National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced the availability of nearly $40 million to support the program’s product prescription program Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program (GusNIP). The funding is part of the USDA American Rescue Plan Act.

By bringing together stakeholders from diverse parts of the food and health systems, GusNIP projects foster understanding to improve the health and nutrition status of participating households, facilitate growth in underrepresented areas and communities, as well as collect and aggregate data to identify best practices on a large scale.

GusNIP Produce Prescription projects provide financial and non-financial incentives to income-eligible individuals and families to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables intended to improve dietary health through increased consumption of fruits and vegetables, reduce food insecurity individuals and households and reduce associated health care costs.

“Prescription production projects are already having an invaluable impact across the country, providing access to fresh fruits and vegetables to people who otherwise might not be able to afford them,” the acting director said. from NIFA, Dr. Dionne Toombs. “This funding will allow NIFA to support even more Produce Prescription projects that will both improve food health and reduce food insecurity for those in need.”

A portion of the money ($17.5 million) will be used to fund GusNIP Produce Prescription applications beginning in fiscal year 2021. These applications were highly ranked but could not be funded during the fiscal year. FY21 due to budget constraints. These funds will also provide an opportunity for active GusNIP Produce Prescription awardees (starting in fiscal years 2019, 20, and 21) who are not already implementing the GusNIP COVID Relief and Response Awards to apply for project enhancement funding. The funds will expand the scope of the project and extend the completion period for an additional three years.

NIFA will notify eligible organizations and provide additional details and a copy of the application package. The remaining $22.5 million will be used to fund projects for fiscal year 2022. The call for applications is open until June 30, 2022.

The USDA also announced today a framework that strengthens the food supply chain and transforms the national food system to be fairer, more competitive and more resilient.

NIFA invests in and advances agricultural research, education and extension across the country to make transformative discoveries that solve societal challenges. NIFA supports initiatives that ensure the long-term viability of agriculture and applies an integrated approach to ensure that breakthrough discoveries in agriculture-related science and technology reach the people who can put them into practice. In fiscal year 2021, NIFA’s total investment was $1.96 billion.

Visit us on Twitter: @USDA_NIFA; and LinkedIn: USDA-NIFA.

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