GusNIP NTAE Center Awards $500K in Capacity Building Grants
Thirteen grants will help nutrition incentive and produce prescription projects strengthen impact and sustainability in high-need communities.
November 18, 2020 | Omaha, Neb. – The Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program National Training, Technical Assistance, Evaluation, and Information Center (GusNIP NTAE) awarded a total of $500,000 to 13 nutrition incentive projects, including SNAP incentives, and produce prescription projects across the country to support initiatives that expand their reach, enhance community engagement, and strengthen their programs’ long-term sustainability in high-need communities. SNAP stands for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as food stamps. Grants of up to $50,000 each will enhance nutrition incentive and produce prescription programs at over 350 farmers markets and grocery stores in 10 states to expand affordable access to fruits and vegetables to over 135,000 families during a time of increased need.
The Nutrition Incentive Hub is a coalition created by the GusNIP NTAE Center. As lead of technical assistance and innovation for the Nutrition Incentive Hub, Fair Food Network will administer these grants in partnership with coalition members Farmers Market Coalition, Ecology Center, Michigan Farmers Market Association, and National Grocers Association Foundation.
“After racing to adapt to the operational challenges of COVID-19, many nutrition incentive projects are stepping back to consider how they might strengthen the efficiency, scalability, and impact of their programs to meet the surging need in their communities. We want to help them strategically invest in initiatives that will increase their capacity and expand their reach as the need is greater than ever,” said Noam Kimelman, director at Fair Food Network.
The grants are part of the GusNIP NTAE Center’s Capacity Building and Innovation Fund, which focuses on strengthening nutrition incentive and produce prescription programs in high-need communities while fostering innovative approaches to communications and technology. This round of funding prioritized impact on programmatic capacity and sustainability, inclusive planning and co-creation of projects, and organizational leadership and partners that center and elevate the voices of the communities served. The capacity building grants were available to current or former USDA Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program (GusNIP) and Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive Program (FINI) grantees and partners.
Appalachian Resource Conservation & Development Council (Johnston City, TN) will use these funds to hire a part-time project coordinator devoted to building sustainable relationships with their local hospital system foundation, insurance companies, and other private businesses and foundations to secure long-term commitments to funding nutrition incentive programs in the Heart of Appalachia. They received a $34,325.50 award and are a 2017 FINI grantee.
Forsyth Farmers’ Market (Savannah, GA) will use these funds to promote their produce prescription program manager from a half-time position to a full-time position, allowing them to focus on assisting with fundraising, preparing curriculum, and researching technology innovation necessary to enhance their produce prescription program, 912 Food Farmacy. They received a $20,500 award and are a 2019 GusNIP grantee.
North Dakota State University Extension (Fargo, ND) will use these funds to increase the number of farmers markets who are able to accept SNAP and implement Double Up Food Bucks in rural and tribal communities in North Dakota and South Dakota, as well as provide training and technical assistance to facilitate the process. They received a $50,000 award and are a partner of 2018 FINI grantee South Dakota State Extension.
Sustainable Food Center (Austin, TX) will use these funds to support staffing and marketing capacity with current partner organizations, expand the program to new regions of Texas, and provide startup toolkits and training on fundraising and community engagement. This work will establish a network of implementing partners capable of developing strong engagement with their communities and securing ongoing funding sources for program sustainability. They received a $50,000 award and are a 2019 GusNIP grantee.
About GusNIP NTAE Center and Nutrition Incentive Hub
The Nutrition Incentive Hub is a coalition of partners, created by the Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program National Training, Technical Assistance, Evaluation, and Information Center (GusNIP NTAE Center), that supports nutrition incentive projects, including SNAP incentives, and produce prescription projects. The GusNIP NTAE Center is led by Gretchen Swanson Center for Nutrition. In partnership with Fair Food Network, they assembled the Nutrition Incentive Hub, 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. The GusNIP NTAE Center is funded through a cooperative agreement and is supported by Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program grant no. 2019-70030-30415/project accession no. 1020863 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture. For more information about the Nutrition Incentive Hub, please visit www.nutritionincentivehub.org.