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Fruit and Vegetables in SNAP

The Supplemental Nutrition and Access Program (SNAP) represents the nation’s largest nutrition safety net program, providing millions of Americans – about half of whom are children – with benefits to purchase food and beverages. Federal dollars are allocated to states, which distribute benefits monthly or bimonthly to recipients to purchase eligible foods at SNAP-approved retailers.

The SNAP program is authorized every five years in the Farm Bill and represents approximately 80% of Farm Bill spending.

During the last Farm Bill (2018), United Fresh worked with Congress to double funding for the program, formerly known as Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive (FINI) grants, now Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program (GusNIP). GusNIP projects are awarded to nonprofits working with retailers like farmers’ markets and grocery stores to provide incentives through the form of fruit and vegetable vouchers to SNAP participants. For example, a SNAP consumer enrolled in the program might purchase $8 in fruits or vegetables. At the point of sale – the customer would receive a voucher to redeem $8 for fruits and vegetables during a future visit. 

The 2018 Farm Bill also established, for the first time, a data and technical assistance center.

Funding:

Fiscal Year 2015: $31 million

Fiscal Year 2016: $16.8 million

Fiscal Year 2017: $16.8 million

Fiscal Year 2018: $21 million

Fiscal Year 2019: $41 million

Fiscal Year 2020: $41.5 million

Additional Resources:

USDA FINI Grants

United Fresh letter to USDA on FINI

FINI Recommendations Letter

UFPA Categorical Eligibility Comment