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Secretary Perdue Announces $16.8 Million to Encourage SNAP Participants to Purchase Healthy Foods -

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced 32 grants totaling $16.8 million to help Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participants increase their purchases of fruits and vegetables.  The program is operated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA).  The funding comes from the Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive (FINI) program, authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill.

“These grants help provide low income families with the resources they need to consume more nutritious food.  Last year, SNAP helped put healthy food on the tables of at least 44 million Americans, including 19 million children,” Perdue said. “This builds on the successes of health-related incentives, with many of the projects being conducted at farmers markets. At the same time, we’re also helping to strengthen local and regional food systems.”

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 that are deployed by FINI grantees. The program brings together stakeholders from different parts of the national food system to improve the nutrition and health status of SNAP households. The awards under FINI represent a variety of projects, including relatively small pilot projects, multi-year community-based projects, and larger-scale multi-year projects.

Grants being announced, by state, include:

FINI Pilot Projects (up to $100,000, not to exceed 1 year):

East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation, Oakland, California, $76,697

Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services, Sacramento, California, $63,494

The Kenny Family Foundation, Wilmington, Delaware, $45,000

Presence Health, Chicago, Illinois, $100,000

Iowa Healthiest State Initiative, Des Moines, Iowa, $99,587

Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians, Red Lake Nation, Minnesota, $78,188

Capacity Builders, Inc., Farmington, New Mexico, $26,478

Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, New York, $99,997

Janus Youth Programs, Inc., Portland, Oregon, $94,566

Appalachian Resource Conservation & Development Council, Johnson City, Tennessee, $94,211

Richmond City Health District, Richmond, Virginia, $98,108

Multi-year community-based projects (up to $500,000, not to exceed 4 years):

Community Services Unlimited Inc., Los Angeles, California, $500,000

Yolo County Health and Human Services Agency, Woodland, California, $500,000

FRESHFARM Markets, Inc., Washington, District of Columbia, $250,000

Atlanta Community Food Bank, Atlanta, Georgia, $250,000

The Food Basket, Inc., Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, $500,000

Heritage Ranch Inc., Honaunau, Hawaii, $500,000

VNA Health Care, Aurora, Illinois, $488,090

The Experimental Station: 6100 Blackstone, Chicago, Illinois, $487,197

Mountain Comprehensive Health Corporation, Whitesburg, Kentucky, $307,916

Crossroads Community Food Network, Inc., Takoma Park, Maryland, $112,403

Together We Can, North Las Vegas, Nevada, $500,000

The Fortune Society, Inc., New York City, New York, $498,000

Reinvestment Partners, Durham, North Carolina, $398,960

Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corporation, Youngstown, Ohio, $498,880

Nurture Nature Center, Easton, Pennsylvania, $267,394

Rhode Island Public Health Institute, Providence, Rhode Island, $299,844

Grow Food d/b/a Viva Farms, Mount Vernon, Washington, $488,758

Multi-year large-scale projects ($500,000 or greater, not to exceed 4 years):

California Department of Food and Agriculture, Sacramento, California, $3,944,573

Community Farm Alliance, Inc., Berea, Kentucky, $602,159

Fair Food Network, Ann Arbor, Michigan, $3,500,000

The Food Trust, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, $987,500

Among the grant recipients this year, The Experimental Station 61St Street , located in an underserved neighborhood on Chicago’s South Side, will increase the affordability of fruits and vegetables sold in Illinois Farmers Markets for Illinois SNAP clients. The project aims to expand the SNAP Double Coupon Program incentive to an additional 80 Illinois Farmers Markets and direct-to-consumer venues. Currently, the project has funded almost 90 farmers markets and direct-to-consumer venues statewide and facilitated thousands of SNAP shoppers to purchase almost $500,000 of additional fresh and healthy foods with the Double Value Coupon incentives. More than 22,000 low-income Illinois residents will benefit from affordable access to the region’s freshest fruits, vegetables and other healthy goods.

To read the full story from the USDA website, click here.