WASHINGTON, August 10, 2022 – The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced the availability of nearly $8 million to support the Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program (GusNIP) product prescription program. The funding is part of the USDA’s US bailout efforts and will be administered by the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA).
GusNIP Produce Prescription projects provide financial and non-financial incentives to income-eligible individuals and families to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables to improve dietary health through increased fruit and vegetable consumption.
By bringing together stakeholders from diverse parts of the food and health care systems, GusNIP projects foster understanding to improve the health and nutritional status of participating households and use data to identify and improve best practices at scale.
“The USDA continues to make progress in transforming our nation’s food system,” said Dr. Chavonda Jacobs-Young, Under Secretary for Research, Education, and Economics and Chief Scientist of the USDA. “Through this investment, the USDA is making more nutritious foods available to more people at more affordable prices. The GusNIP Produce Prescription program demonstrates the invaluable impact that access to fresh fruits and vegetables has on communities in need.
The awards announced today fund meritorious FY 2021 GusNIP Produce Prescription entries that were highly ranked but could not be funded at the time due to budget constraints. Seventeen projects are funded, including the following:
- Common Pantry Food MD Program (New York, New York), in collaboration with clinical partners, will screen and identify eligible patients for an intensive three-month training in nutrition education and food resources, developing healthy eating behaviors and increasing household food security for diagnosed patients or at risk of developing a diet-related chronic disease.
- The Appalachian Farmacy Produce Prescription Program (Johnson City, Tennessee) will provide 360 participating households with at least $240 in direct incentives per year to purchase fresh produce at local farmers’ markets and grocery stores.
- Friends serving the Community Food Bank (Kittitas County, Washington) improve health outcomes, reduce health care utilization and costs, improve nutritional self-efficacy, and maintain subsidized shares of community-supported agriculture of Medicaid patients with HIV-related health conditions feed.
- University Healthcare Physicians, Inc., (Martinsburg, West Virginia) will employ a mobile teaching kitchen/dispensing unit that expands access to healthy food and culturally appropriate cooking and nutrition education at clinical sites across the east 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 so many positive ways. In the Biden-Harris administration, the USDA is transforming the US food system with greater emphasis on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe food, healthy and nutritious in all communities, creating new markets and income streams for farmers and producers using climate-smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in clean energy infrastructure and capacity in the Rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and creating a workforce that is more representative of America. To learn more, visit usda.gov.
The USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender.