Home » Proposal Aims To Increase Produce Consumption For Consumers
National Produce News

Proposal Aims To Increase Produce Consumption For Consumers

frozen produce

Last updated on June 12th, 2023 at 11:35 am

Reps. Mark Alford (MO-04) and Jasmine Crockett (TX-30) recently introduced H.R. 3127, the “Supporting All Healthy Options When Purchasing Produce” Act, in the U.S. House of Representatives.

The American Frozen Food Institute has welcomed the introduction of the proposed legislation that will help families eat more fruits and vegetables as part of a healthy diet by providing more opportunities to take home fresh frozen produce when they shop.

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and the Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program can close a produce intake gap among lower income households. However, GusNIP, its point-of-sale promotion programs and USDA’s Produce Prescription Program only fund projects that support the consumption of fresh produce.

The SHOPP Act would amend and modernize GusNIP’s priorities in several ways. Under the proposal:  

  1. The Secretary of Agriculture must consider GusNIP program grant applications/projects that promote or incentivize frozen fruit and vegetable consumption among SNAP recipients. 
  2. USDA must allow frozen fruits, vegetables and legumes to be included in the Prescription Produce Program. The program currently allows only fresh fruits and vegetables.   

“Americans should be incentivized to live a healthy lifestyle. GUSNIP is an easy way to do that. While this program is an opportunity to reward SNAP participants for choosing healthy produce options, I believe it can be improved. Our legislation would do just that,” Alford said.

“The SHOPP Act would amend the GUSNIP program to expand those opportunities to frozen fruits and vegetables. Making decisions in the grocery store with the health of one’s family in mind should not be as challenging as it is. We must ensure that whether you’re in rural America or a big city, you have the flexibility to meet your family’s nutritional needs. I’m proud to introduce the SHOPP Act alongside Rep. Crockett.”

Reps. Don Bacon (NE-02), Greg Casar (TX-35), Mary Miller (IL-15) and Bennie Thompson (MS-02) are co-sponsors on the legislation. The SHOPP Act, if passed, would take effect on March 6, 2024, National Frozen Food Day.  

“Ninety percent of SNAP participants don’t eat enough fruits and vegetables, and research shows a lack of time and resources often get in the way of healthy eating,” said Alison Bodor, AFFI president and CEO. 

“The broad inclusion of frozen food in federal government feeding programs can help consumers overcome those barriers and tackle the produce consumption crisis head on. This proposal would enhance USDA’s existing programs and increase access to a variety of healthy food choices for millions of Americans.” 

Promoting the inclusion of frozen food is a solution for meeting the country’s nutritional needs. The U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the federal government’s best nutrition advice, states that “all forms of foods, including fresh, canned, dried, frozen and 100 percent juices in nutrient dense forms, can be included in healthy dietary patterns.” 

Studies show that frozen fruits and vegetables are as rich in nutrients, and in some cases more so, than fresh-stored produce because the produce is frozen within hours of harvest. Additional research conducted by AFFI  found that eight out of 10 SNAP-eligible households surveyed agreed that frozen fruits and vegetables make it easier to eat more produce, prevent food waste and save money.

“Frozen food is a perfect solution for anyone who wants to stretch their food dollars and optimize healthy food purchases at the same time. This legislation is a practical approach to combating food and nutrition security in America. AFFI calls on Congress to move quickly on the SHOPP Act so more Americans can have access to nutrition year-round,” Bodor said.

Featured Photos

Featured Photo PLMA Annual Private Label Trade Show
Donald E. Stephens Convention Center
Chicago, Illinois
Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap