The USDA is investing nearly $8 million to improve food health and food security

Washington, August 10, 2022 Today, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the availability of nearly $8 million to support the Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program (GusNIP) Produce Prescription Program. The funding is part of the USDA’s American Rescue Plan effort and will be administered by the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA).

GusNIP Produce’s prescription projects provide financial and non-financial incentives to income-eligible individuals and families to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables to improve nutritional health through increased consumption of fruits and vegetables.

By bringing together stakeholders from different parts of the food and healthcare systems, GusNIP projects advance understanding to improve the health and nutritional status of participating families and use data to identify and improve best practices at scale.

“USDA continues to make strides in transforming our nation’s food system,” said Dr. Shavonda Jacobs-Young, Undersecretary for Research, Education and Economics and Chief Scientist for the USDA. Through this investment, the USDA is making more nutritious foods available to more people at affordable prices. The GusNIP Produce Prescription Program demonstrates the valuable impact of access to fresh fruits and vegetables on communities in need.”

The awards announced today fund meritorious GusNIP Produce Prescription applications from fiscal year 2021 that ranked highly but cannot be funded at that time due to budget constraints. Seventeen projects are being funded, including the following:

  • Common Pantry’s Food MD Program (New York, USA) New York), in collaboration with clinical partners, screened and identified patients eligible for three-month nutrition education and intensive training in nutritional resources, building healthy dietary behaviors and increasing home food security for patients diagnosed with, or at risk of, chronic diet-related diseases.
  • Appalachian Farms Produce Prescription Program (Johnson City, Inc. Tennessee) 360 participating families will provide at least $240 in direct incentives annually to purchase fresh produce at local farmers’ markets and groceries.
  • Friends at the Community Food Bank Service (Kititas County, Washington) It will improve health outcomes, reduce healthcare utilization and costs, improve nutritional self-efficacy and maintain community-supported agriculture rations for Medicaid patients with diet-related health conditions.
  • University Health Care Physicians (Martinsburg, West Virginia) You will employ a mobile education kitchen/distribution unit that expands access to healthy food and culturally appropriate cooking and nutrition education across clinical sites in the eastern region of the state.

NIFA invests in and advances agricultural research, education, and extension across the country to make transformative discoveries that solve societal challenges. In fiscal year 2021, NIFA’s total investment was $1.96 billion. Visit the NIFA website for more information.

The USDA touches the lives of all Americans every day in many positive ways. In a Biden-Harris administration, the USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient domestic and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, healthy, nutritious food in all communities, and building new markets and streams of income To farmers and producers using climate-smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, committing to equality across governance by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce that is more representative of America. To learn more, visit usda.gov.

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The USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender.

The USDA is investing nearly $8 million to improve food health and food security

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