Fair Food Network Applauds Senate Farm Bill Proposal to Expand and Improve Access to Healthy Food in Michigan and Across the Country

Stabenow’s Rural Prosperity and Food Security Act framework lays the foundation for a bipartisan farm bill that helps farmers, families

May 6, 2024 | Detroit, MI –  Fair Food Network commends the momentum toward a bipartisan farm bill reauthorization, prompted by the Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow’s (D-MI) release of the Rural Prosperity and Food Security Act framework. The proposal expands and improves the Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program (GusNIP), which supports nutrition incentive programs, like Double Up Food Bucks, produce prescription projects, and boosts investments in local food systems. The framework includes over 100 bipartisan bills and lays a roadmap for finalizing the farm bill by the end of the year.

“The Rural Prosperity and Food Security Act framework is a welcomed first step towards a consensus farm bill that incorporates bipartisan policies to help farmers, families, and communities alike. The proposal includes important provisions to expand and improve GusNIP – the powerful program behind Double Up Food Bucks that increases access to nutritious foods for families and boosts farmers’ bottom lines. We extend our sincere gratitude to Chairwoman Stabenow for her steadfast leadership and urge Congressional leaders to come together and make progress towards a bipartisan bill that will nourish our nation both now and in the future,” said Kate Krauss, CEO at Fair Food Network.

GusNIP supports the popular Double Up Food Bucks program that enables families to use their Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits to match or discount their purchase of fruits and vegetables at participating farmers markets and grocery stores. Chairwoman Stabenow’s proposal to expand and strengthen GusNIP is not only a win for Double Up Food Bucks in Michigan, but it’s also a win for all nutrition incentive and produce prescription programs across the country. In addition to placing nutritious food within reach of food insecure families, nutrition incentive programs also benefit farmers and community grocery stores by allowing them to double their revenue on SNAP purchases. These programs also bolster business for the participating local farmers. Since 2009, Double Up Food Bucks in Michigan and SNAP accounted for more than $73.1 million in combined sales of fruits and vegetables – dollars directly benefitting Michigan farmers and businesses.

Fair Food Network also provides national technical assistance on behalf of the Nutrition Incentive Hub, which is supported by GusNIP. The Nutrition Incentive Hub offers nutrition incentive and produce prescription implementation support, peer learning, and capacity-building grants. Led by the Center for Nutrition and Health Impact in partnership with Fair Food Network and the University of California San Francisco, the Nutrition Incentive Hub works with hundreds of practitioners across states, U.S. territories, and tribal nations to evaluate, innovate, and scale their work to reach more people.

The Rural Prosperity and Food Security Act would also bolster investments in local and regional food systems, including mandatory funding for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Healthy Food Financing Initiative (HFFI) that provides funding to local, state, and regional organizations that offer financing and technical assistance to food retailers in under-resourced communities. As administrators of the Michigan Good Food Fund—a lending network for Michigan food and farm businesses—Fair Food Network sees firsthand the challenges that promising food enterprises face in securing credit and technical assistance that works for their businesses. Programs like HFFI play a critical role in helping food entrepreneurs secure stable investment and focus on their important work — feeding our communities.

“Fair Food Network is an advocate for equitable access to nutritious food, economic opportunities, and a resilient local food and agriculture system. Our advocacy efforts extend beyond state lines, aiming to create lasting impact on a national scale,” commented Krauss.


About Fair Food Network

Fair Food Network is a national nonprofit and investor that grows community health and wealth through food. We transform how resources flow through the food economy for a more fair and resilient future. Our approach integrates policy advocacy that brings proven solutions to scale, partnerships that increase our collective impact, and investments in food organizations and businesses that serve their communities. We’re building a world in which everyone has access to healthy choices, economic opportunity, and a resilient environment. We believe that when we start with food, everything else is possible.