Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture "has awarded $31.5 million in funding to local, state, and national organizations to support programs that help participants in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) increase their purchase of fruits and vegetables," a spokesperson says.
Among the awards was a $50,000 Pilot Program Grant to the local Forsyth Farmers' Market
The Forsyth Farmers’ Market project will support their SNAP/EBT doubling program – a partnership with Wholesome Wave Georgia – and outreach and educational opportunities.
Teri Schell, Executive Director of Forsyth Farmers' Market, notes “This project will significantly increase our reach in the Savannah community and allow us to bring more good food from our local famers to our neighbors with the least access to healthy fruits and vegetables. Accepting and doubling SNAP is one of the ways that we ensure that all community members are able to participate in the good food movement."
According to the USDA, "Recognizing that all Americans fall well short of the servings of fruits and vegetables recommended by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the grants will test incentive strategies to help SNAP participants better afford fruits and vegetables. These grants were made through the Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive (FINI) program authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill."
Secretary Vilsack, who made the announcement at the Freshfields Farm market in Orlando, said, “Encouraging low income families to put more healthy food in their grocery baskets is part of USDA’s ongoing commitment to improving the diet and health of all Americans.” Vilsack continued, “These creative community partnerships also benefit regional food producers and local economies along with SNAP participants.”