DEMAND AID FOR HEALTHY FOOD IN THE NEXT CORONAVIRUS RELIEF BILL
JULY 24, 2020
CALL SENATOR KAMALA HARRIS AND SENATOR DIANNE FEINSTEIN
Ask them to include funding for GusNIP in the next Coronavirus Relief Bill
- The Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program (GusNIP) has significant bi-partisan support because the program benefits specialty crop farmers, grocers, food insecure families, and the communities in which they reside.
-This is the program that provides funds for Market Match, as well as Northgate Gonzalez’s Mas Fresco program, and other programs that give SNAP recipients bonus dollars for more fruits and vegetables. It operates at farmers markets and supermarkets all over the country now
- GusNIP is a competitive USDA grant that requires grantees to secure half their funding through state budget appropriations and charitable sources. Both have shrunk due to the pandemic, at a time when need is higher than ever
- Fruit and vegetable producers across the country are facing significant financial stress as the pandemic disrupts normal channels of business, especially sales to institutional and food service buyers. Total economic losses of $1.3 billion are forecast in local and regional markets, during March through May 2020 alone.
- Food insecurity is growing exponentially.
- As of July 2, the U.S. Department of Labor reports over 12 million workers are newly unemployed since February 2020,
- USDA has approved Pandemic-EBT in all 50 states. The latter reflects the needs of school children, whereas across the country, prior to schools closing, approximately 21 million received free and reduced-price school meals daily.
- The Brookings Institution's Hamilton Project recently analyzed new weekly U.S. Census Bureau data that indicate as many as 14 million of these children, approximately 16.5 percent of households with children under the age of 18, are currently not getting enough to eat.
- GusNIP stretches families’ food budgets, incentivizes healthier options and stimulates the economy.
-And at a time of political divisions, GusNIP has bipartisan support, with 24 Republican and 55 Democrat representatives signing a letter in the House to urge GusNIP support
Thanks to Fair Food Network for much of the language of this alert and their leadership in advocacy for GusNIP