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Grants available to increase SNAP purchases of fruits and vegetablesGrants available to increase SNAP purchases of fruits and vegetables

Grants go to eligible nonprofits and governmental organizations.

October 24, 2016

3 Min Read

USDA announced up to $16.7 million in competitive grant funding is available to increase the purchase of fruits and vegetables by families and households participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). The funding will be awarded to eligible nonprofits and governmental organizations through the Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive (FINI) Grant Program, administered by USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill.


"Recent data shows that 2015 marked the lowest figures on record for food insecurity among children—a major achievement in our country's efforts to ensure every child has a safer, healthier future filled with unlimited opportunity. In addition, last year 7.9 million fewer people were struggling to provide adequate food for themselves or household members than when President Obama took office in the midst of the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression," said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. "We must continue to invest in initiatives like the Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive, which are maximizing SNAP recipients' access to healthy foods and are playing a major role in winning this battle against hunger."

FINI is a joint program between NIFA and 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 FINIgrantees. The program brings together stakeholders from different parts of the national food system to improve the nutrition and health status of SNAP households. Since 2015, NIFA has invested $48.3 million to support the work of 58 organizations in 33 states and the District of Columbia through FINI.

Applications may be submitted by eligible government agencies and nonprofit organizations in three categories: pilot projects requesting less than $100,000 over one year, multi-year community-based projects requesting less than $500,000 over no more than four years, and multi-year large-scale projects requesting $500,000 or more over no more than four years. All FINI projects must operate through authorized SNAP retailers and agree to participate in the FINI comprehensive program evaluation.

Priority is given for projects that

-Maximize the share of funds used for direct incentives to participants,

-Test innovative or promising strategies that will contribute to a better understanding of how best to increase the purchase of fruits and vegetables by SNAP participants,

-Develop innovative or improved benefit redemption systems that may be replicated or scaled,

-Demonstrate a track record of designing and implementing successful nutrition incentive programs to connect low-income consumers and agricultural producers,

-Provide locally or regionally produced fruits and vegetables, especially culturally-appropriate fruits and vegetables for the target households, and

 -Work with underserved communities, particularly in Promise Zones and StrikeForce communities.

Applications are due by Dec. 12, 2016. See the request for applications for more details.

NIFA will host a free informational webinar for interested applicants on AT 2 P.M. EDT Nov. 3, 2016. An archived version will be available on NIFA's FINI webpage following the webinar.

Source: USDA

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