A recently released evaluation of the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture’s (NIFA) Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program (GusNIP) indicates the program’s positive impact continues to grow.

Participants receiving nutrition incentives and produce prescriptions through GusNIP projects reported higher fruit and vegetable intake than the average U.S. adult, according to the report. Projects funded in Year 3 through GusNIP provided twice the dollar value of incentives at double the number of sites as Year 2, totaling $85 million in local economic impact. That represents a tenfold increase since Year 1 findings.

“It is gratifying to see the positive results we saw in year 2 trend into year 3, as far as continued improvement in fruit and vegetable intake and food security among those participating in GusNIP nutrition incentive and produce prescription programs,” said Dr. Amy Lazarus Yaroch, executive director at the Gretchen Swanson Center for Nutrition and project director of the GusNIP NTAE. 

This competitive grant program makes fruits and vegetables more affordable and accessible to low-income consumers who participate by purchasing through grocery stores, farmers' markets, and other food retailers. From fiscal year 2019 through FY 2021, USDA NIFA funded 115 GusNIP awards: 71 projects on nutrition incentives and 44 produce prescription efforts. Awards ranged from $40,000 to $12.5 million and ranged between one and four years in length. The full evaluation report is available here.

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