Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program (formerly FINI)

The Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program (GusNIP) supports projects to increase the purchase of fruits and vegetables among low-income consumers participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) by providing incentives at the point of purchase.

Grantees conduct a project assessment as well as cooperate with and contribute to independent evaluations to determine the relative effectiveness of the grant program in achieving the legislative goals of “increasing fruit and vegetable purchases” and “improving the nutrition and health status” of participating households (Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008, § 4405(b)(4)(A)). 

There are three categories of projects:

(1) GusNIP Pilot Projects (awards not to exceed a total of $100,000 over one year);
(2) Multi-year, community-based GusNIP Projects (awards not to exceed a total of $500,000 over no more than four years); and
(3) Multi-year, GusNIP Large-Scale Projects (awards of $500,000 or more over no more than four years).

All GusNIP projects must:

  1. Have the support of the State agency responsible for the administration of SNAP;
  2. Increase the purchase of fruits and vegetables by low-income consumers participating in SNAP by providing incentives at the point of purchase;
  3. Operate through authorized SNAP retailers, and in compliance with all relevant SNAP regulations and operating requirements;
  4. Agree to participate in the GusNIP comprehensive program evaluation;
  5. Ensure that the same terms and conditions apply to purchases made by individuals with SNAP benefits and with incentives under the GusNIP grants program as apply to purchases made by individuals who are not members of households receiving benefits as provided in 7 C.F.R. 278.2(b); and
  6. Include effective and efficient technologies for benefit redemption systems that may be replicated in other states and communities.

GusNIP projects present the opportunity to bring together stakeholders from the distinct parts of the food system and to foster understanding of how they might improve the nutrition and health status of participating households receiving incentives to purchase fruits and vegetables. GusNIP projects are also intended to address the development of effective and efficient technologies for benefit redemption that are replicable by others.

GusNIP for Grantees

GusNIP grantees should review this November 2018 notice. This notice encourages State and local SNAP agencies and GusNIP grantees to work together directly in order to promote GusNIP grant projects active in their areas. Distributing fliers or playing videos in the lobbies of local SNAP offices, as well as direct mailing campaigns, can be very cost-effective ways of informing SNAP recipients about GusNIP grant projects in their area. However, GusNIP grantees can only engage in such promotional activities with the support of State and local SNAP agencies. There are no Federal regulations or SNAP policies that prohibit these kinds of GusNIP grant project promotional activities.

 

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