The USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) announced on September 29, 2014, that they will make up to $31.5 million in funding available to empower Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) participants to more easily select healthy foods. Increased access will come as a result of public-private partnerships that will be further developed through the Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive (FINI) program. FINI is a joint effort between NIFA and USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service, which oversees SNAP. The program will work to better understand how communities can increase incentives at the point of purchase that will encourage SNAP participants to purchase more fruits and vegetables.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack stresses why this funding is so crucial: “helping families purchase more fresh produce is clearly good for families’ health, helps contribute to lower health costs for the country, and increases local food sales for family farmers”. Approximately half of SNAP participants are children, and 42% of recipients come from households with at least one working adult but still cannot afford to provide adequate food for themselves or their families. This new funding has great potential to positively impact the food selections of many Americans.
Read the full press release here.