The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) announces the availability of nearly $40 million to support the Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program (GusNIP) Produce Prescription Program. The funding is part of the USDA American Rescue Plan Act.
By bringing together stakeholders from various parts of the food and healthcare 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 broad scale.
GusNIP Produce Prescription projects provide financial and non-financial incentives to income-eligible individuals and families to procure fresh fruits and vegetables intended to improve dietary health through increased consumption of fruits and vegetables, reduce individual and household food insecurity and reduce associated health care costs.
“Produce Prescriptions projects are already making an invaluable impact throughout the nation, providing access to fresh fruits and vegetables to people who may not otherwise be able to afford them,” said Acting NIFA Director Dr. Dionne Toombs. “This funding will allow NIFA to support even more Produce Prescription projects that will both improve dietary 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 from fiscal year 2021. Those applications were highly ranked but could not be funded in FY21 due to budget constraints. These funds will also provide an opportunity for active GusNIP Produce Prescription awardees (from FY19, 20 and 21) who are not already implementing GusNIP COVID Relief and Response awards to apply for project enhancement funding. The funds will expand project reach and extend the period of performance for another 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 FY2022 projects. The Request for Applications is open until June 30, 2022.
USDA also announced a framework shoring up the food supply chain and transforming the nation’s food system to be fairer, more competitive and more resilient.
NIFA invests in and advances agricultural research, education and extension across the nation 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 groundbreaking discoveries in agriculture-related sciences and technologies reach the people who can put them into practice. In FY 2021, NIFA’s total investment was $1.96 billion.
Visit our website: www.nifa.usda.gov; Twitter: @USDA_NIFA; LinkedIn: USDA-NIFA.