The Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program (GusNIP) allows the Secretary to provide funding opportunities to conduct and evaluate projects providing incentives to increase the purchase of fruits and vegetables by low-income consumers. By bringing together stakeholders from various parts of the food and healthcare systems, GusNIP grants help foster understanding to improve the health and nutrition status of participating households, facilitate growth in states with low participation, as well as collect and aggregate data to identify and improve best practices on a broad scale.
The 2018 Farm Bill authorized the program for fiscal years 2019 through 2023 and growth in program funding from $45 million to $56 million to be appropriated over 5 years. Across the GusNIP grant program there are three grant types and three project types available, which are described briefly below:
- Nutrition Incentive – develop and evaluate projects to increase the purchase of fruits and vegetables by low-income consumers participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) by providing incentives at the point of purchase,
- Produce Prescription – conduct projects that demonstrate and evaluate the impact of financial or non-financial incentive prescriptions of fresh fruits and vegetables in addition to nutrition educational opportunities to increase procurement and consumption of fruits and vegetables, reduce individual and household food insecurity, and reduce healthcare usage and associated costs, and;
- Cooperative Agreement - offer training, technical assistance, evaluation, and informational support services to the nutrition incentive projects, produce prescription projects and to the Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program as a whole.
- Pilot Projects – new entrants seeking funding for the early stages of program development at less than the county level;
- Standard Projects – mid-sized groups developing incentive program at the county, multi-county or State level, and;
- Large Scale Projects – project teams developing multi-county, state-wide, regional, or national incentive programs with the largest target audience of all GusNIP projects.
Non-profit organizations and government agencies are eligible to apply for GusNIP nutrition incentive projects and GusNIP produce prescription projects. Eligibility to apply for a cooperative agreement is limited to nongovernmental organizations, state cooperative extension services, region food systems centers, Federal, State or Tribal agencies, and institutions of higher education. Cooperative agreement proposals are not invited every year. Applicants to the GusNIP program are encouraged to partner and collaborate broadly throughout the healthcare system and the food system.
For further information, visit the Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program RFA funding opportunity page: https://nifa.usda.gov/funding-opportunity/gus-schumacher-nutrition-incentive-grant-program