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The Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program (GusNIP) offers retailers a chance to provide extra food dollars to help low-income shoppers include more healthy fruits and vegetables in their diet.
The National Grocers Association Foundation Technical Assistance Center (NGAF TA Center) partnered with the Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative (IFAI) to host a recent webinar, “Help Promote Food Access in Indigenous Communities with GusNIP Nutrition Incentives.”
The purpose of this webinar was to raise awareness within Indigenous communities of the existence of GusNIP, how it works, why non-profits or government agencies operating on/within Indigenous land may be interested in applying for and running a GusNIP program, and how it is currently being implemented by two separate non-profits working in native communities: Community Outreach and Patient Empowerment (COPE), which runs the Navajo Fruit and Vegetable Prescription Program (FVRx), and Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation, which runs a produce prescription project on Tribal land in southwest Alaska. Representatives of these organizations spoke to their own experience running GusNIP projects and the benefits and challenges of operating a successful project.
Here are some key takeaways from the discussion:
GusNIP can aid in successful nutrition intervention. COPE and YKHC spoke to the importance of these programs to offer healthy food access to their community members. “We believe that the power to overturn long-standing, historical health inequalities lies inherently in Native communities themselves. By investing in existing community resources and aligning our work with the vision of tribal leadership, we hope to help catalyze this transformation within our lifetime.” – COPE
There are unique challenges to non-profits/grantees operating on Indigenous land. Our speakers not only addressed the benefits of the GusNIP program, but the challenges they face, some include (but are not limited to): limited access to cell service/internet, consistent data collection, personnel bandwidth, electronic systems that are compatible within tribal communities, recruitment and education.
You can apply now! The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has released the requests for application (RFA) for both the nutrition incentive and produce prescription grants funded through the Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program (GusNIP). Applications are due June 30 2022.
Click here to view a recording of this webinar.
*The NGAF TA Center addresses the challenges grocers and supermarket operators face in establishing nutrition incentive programs and is a proud partner of the Nutrition Incentive Hub. The Nutrition Incentive Hub, funded through a cooperative agreement from the United States Department of Agriculture, National Institute of Food and Agriculture, is a new resource that provides training, technical assistance, reporting\ and evaluation for those working to launch or expand SNAP incentives or produce prescription programs. The Nutrition Incentive Hub is led by Gretchen Swanson Center for Nutrition in partnership with Fair Food Network along with 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.