Washington nutrition assistance clients will be better able to afford
healthy fruits and vegetables thanks to a federal grant of nearly $6 million. The grant is part of $31 million in awards by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) to local, state, and national organizations to support programs that use the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
The Washington State Department of Health and 60 multi-sector partners were awarded a $5.86 million competitive USDA grant to promote purchase of fruits and vegetables by SNAP clients. The money will be used for the Washington’s Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentives (FINI) Project, which aims to improve the nutrition status of low-income households participating in SNAP by increasing their purchases of fruits and vegetables. The program provides cash incentives at the point of purchase in farmers markets and grocery stores.Washington is one of eight states to get the four-year large-scale FINI grant, for which the state Department of Health serves as the lead agency. The state health grant proposal was backed by Gov. Jay Inslee and Seattle Mayor Ed Murray. It directly aligns with major initiatives and strategic plans in Washington, including the Gov. Inslee’s Healthiest Next Generation Initiative, Department of Health’s State Plan for Healthy Communities, and City of Seattle’s Local Food Action Initiative.
“One of the goals of the Healthiest Next Generation Initiative is to help our children eat well. I want every family to have access to affordable, healthy food like fruits and vegetables,” Gov. Inslee said. “Washington’s FINI Project will test new strategies and provide necessary resources to increase the ability of low-income families who struggle with food insecurity to buy the healthiest food possible.”