By Chelsea Matzen / project manager
If you are a retailer interested in nutrition incentive programs, the next few months may be the best time to find a grantee with whom to partner. On Nov. 4, 2020, the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture announced the 2020 Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program (GusNIP) award recipients. More than $32 million was awarded to 30 grantees across 22 states.
These grantees are operating SNAP incentive or produce prescription projects that support families in purchasing and consuming more nutritious fruits and vegetables. In order to execute these projects, the grantees must partner with end retailers such as grocers where SNAP consumers shop.
This funding is critical at a time when food insecurity, exacerbated by COVID-19, is at an all-time high. Some programs are continuations of existing nutrition incentive projects where the grantee hopes to expand their offerings to more retailers and meet the increased need from COVID-19. Others are new grantees just entering the GusNIP program who will be looking to form new partnerships with grocers.
In conjunction with the Nutrition Incentive Hub, the NGAF Technical Assistance Center works to support grantees and grocers as they build partnerships to effectively and efficiently deliver nutrition incentives. Grocers interested in participating in a GusNIP project should ensure they’re “incentive ready” and reach out to the NGAF Technical Assistance Center via email at [email protected] to express their interest.
The NGAF TA Center addresses the challenges grocers and supermarket operators face in establishing nutrition incentive programs and is a partner of the Nutrition Incentive Hub. The hub, funded through a cooperative agreement from the United States Department of Agriculture and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, is a new national resource that provides training, technical assistance, reporting and evaluation for those working to launch or expand SNAP incentives or produce prescription programs. The hub is led by the Gretchen Swanson Center for Nutrition in partnership with Fair Food Network along with a coalition of evaluators, researchers, practitioners, and grocery and farmers market experts from across the country dedicated to strengthening and uniting the best thinking in the field to increase access to affordable, healthy food to those who need it most.